Pope appoints new Bishop of Northampton

David Oakley will be the new Bishop of Northampton
David Oakley will be the new Bishop of Northampton

The Pope has appointed a new Bishop of Northampton to replace Bishop Peter Doyle, who is retiring at the age of 75.

In an announcement on Twitter, the Northampton Diocese said: "We are delighted to announce that The Holy Father has appointed Canon David Oakley, a priest of the Archdiocese of Birmingham and currently rector of St Mary's College, Oscott, to be the thirteenth Bishop of Northampton."

The diocese of Northampton covers Northamptonshire, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, and Berkshire north of the river Thames.

At 11am today (Wednesday) there was a brief ceremony of welcome at the Cathedral.

The twelfth bishop of Northampton, Peter Doyle, was ordained as Bishop of Northampton in June 2005, which was the first senior appointment to the Roman Catholic Church in Britain by Pope Benedict XVI.

Bishop Doyle decided to retire following his 75th birthday on May 3, 2019. He offered his resignation to the Pope but has remained bishop until the successor was appointed.

In a statement, the diocese said: "Bishop Peter Doyle rejoices in this good news. The Bishop has worked closely with Bishop Elect David during his seven years as rector of the seminary at Oscott, and knows him to be a man of faith and prayer, and a pastoral priest and wise teacher.

"Bishop Peter joins the priests and deacons, and the religious and people of the Diocese of Northampton in giving thanks to God and welcoming Bishop Elect David and praying for him as he prepares for his ordination as Bishop."

Northampton's new bishop, David Oakley, is currently the twenty-third Rector of Oscott, Birmingham.

St. Mary's College Oscott is a Catholic college and one of the three seminaries for training priests of the Catholic Church in England and Wales.

Cardinal Vincent Nichols will celebrate the Episcopal Ordination of Bishop Elect David in Northampton Cathedral at 11 am on the Solemnity of St. Joseph, 19 March 2020.

Speaking on social media, Cardinal Nichols said: "I assure Bishop-elect David Oakley of my most sincere prayers and total support as he prepares to take up his appointment as Bishop of Northampton, in succession to Bishop Peter Doyle. Bishop Peter will be much missed; Bishop David will be warmly welcomed."