The Pope has appointed Bishop Alan Hopes as new Bishop of East Anglia.
The 69-year-old is currently auxilliary Bishop of Westminster. A former Church of England vicar, he converted to Catholicism in 1994 and was appointed vicar-general of Westminster in 2001.
The see has been vacant since July 11, 2011, following the death of Bishop Michael Evans from cancer.
Speaking of the appointment, Bishop Hopes said: “It is with a profound sense of trust in God’s loving care for us, that I will undertake this new ministry as Bishop of East Anglia, entrusted to me by our Holy Father, Pope Francis. In this year of faith, and at the beginning of the pontificate of Pope Francis, it is an immense privilege to be called to follow in the footsteps of the late Bishop Michael Evans in serving and leading God’s holy people in this diocese.”
“I am grateful indeed to Fr David Bagstaff who has been Diocesan Administrator for the past two years and all who have had supported him in this responsibility.”
Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster, said he was “delighted” by the appointed and said he would like to thank Bishop Hopes for his “considerable service” for Westminster.
East Anglia Diocesan Administrator Fr David Bagstaff welcomed the new bishop, and said: ”I am sure that he will be warmly welcomed in our Diocese, which has worked so hard to continue our mission of proclaiming the Gospel over the two years since Bishop Michael’s death. I am most grateful to the priests and people of the Diocese for their support, and am glad to hand over the responsibility for the Diocese to an experienced and trusted colleague who already has some knowledge of our Diocese and has expressed such joy in his appointment.”