Video: Bishop of Hallam speaks about his new role

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The new Bishop of Hallam has been installed in a special ceremony in Sheffield city centre.

Representatives of parishes across the region joined civic dignitaries and community leaders for a ceremony at St Marie’s Cathedral in Norfolk Row where Bishop Ralph Heskett formally succeeded Bishop John Rawsthorne.

The ceremony, which was broadcast live on the internet, was proceeded by a procession.

Bishop Ralph, aged 61, has been Bishop of Gibraltar for the last four years, and he takes over from Bishop John, who is retiring after 17 years, although he will carry out pastoral work on his home patch of Liverpool.

Bishop Ralph, who has twice visited the diocese since his appointment by the Pope, said: “It’s exciting.

“It was a bit of a surprise for me and obviously living in Gibraltar there have been and will continue to be difficulties for a little while but I am looking forward to what lies ahead.

“Wherever you are, the role of bishop is the same, essentially as a pastor and shepherd for the priests and people in the diocese.

“So wherever you are in the world basically the role is the same, but you’re working with working with different groups of people and different clergy.”

Bishop Ralph, who has been a parish priest in Liverpool and London, said yesterday - July 10 - was a special date for him.

“It’s a special day for me. It is the 38th anniversary of me being ordained into the priesthood and four years since I became Bishop of Gibraltar,” he added.

Hallam has more than 60 churches and covers the whole of South Yorkshire and parts of Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire and is the smallest Catholic diocese in England.

And Bishop Ralph had a message for the people of his Roman Catholic diocese.

He said: “Hopefully we will set out on an exciting journey together in faith, to grow in faith together as a diocese and a family.”

Bishop Ralph was born in Sunderland in 1953 and has served the Archdioceses of Liverpool and Southwark.

In 1999 he was appointed Parish Priest of St Mary’s Clapham in South London where he remained until 2008.




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