Bishop Stephen Wright has been installed as the fifteenth Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle at a Solemn Mass of Installation in the Cathedral Church of St Mary, Newcastle on Wednesday 19 July 2023.
The Mass was celebrated in honour of Our Blessed Mary Immaculate, a patron of the diocese who looks down from one of the cathedral’s stained glass windows. A photo gallery is available from the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England & Wales here, and the Diocesan photo gallery is available below.
Bishop Wright was welcomed by Archbishop Malcolm McMahon, the Apostolic Administrator of the diocese.
The Apostolic Nuncio, His Excellency Archbishop Miguel Maury Buendía was in attendance, as was Cardinal Vincent Nichols, President of the Bishops’ Conference and many Catholic bishops from the dioceses of England and Wales.
Bishop Wright was presented with the traditional symbols of a bishop’s ministry: the pastoral staff, the crozier, the ring – in this case St Cuthbert’s ring – and the pectoral cross.
In a very poignant exchange, Bishop Wright received another gift – the powerful symbol of prayer ribbons representing the God-given dignity of victims and survivors of abuse. These ribbons were then tied to the Bishop’s chair and the congregation heard a short testimony from Maggie – a survivor of abuse.
The Bishop was also greeted by the Chapter of Canons, representatives of the Council of Priests and pastoral councils, and some of the priests, deacons and lay people of the diocese, as well as ecumenical and interreligious guests and other dignitaries.
Until his installation, Bishop Wright had served as an auxiliary Bishop for the Archdiocese of Birmingham.
The Mass of Installation took place at 1pm in St Mary’s Cathedral, Newcastle on Wednesday, 19 July 2023 and is available to view on the Cathedral Church of St Mary YouTube page here.