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Pope Francis today appointed Mgr Nicholas Hudson as an auxiliary bishop of Westminster.
Mgr Hudson, 55, is a former Rector of the English College, Rome, who only this year took up a post as priest of Sacred Heart, Wimbledon, one of the largest parishes in Britain.
The Archdiocese of Westminster has been short of auxiliaries following the appointments of Archbishop George Stack to Cardiff and Bishop Alan Hopes of East Anglia.
Mgr Hudson joins two auxiliaries there, Bishops John Arnold and John Sherrington.
The need for an auxiliary has become acute following the new responsibilities in Rome given to the Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Vincent Nichols, who in the last four months has been appointed to the College of Cardinals and the Vatican’s Congregations for Bishops and for Oriental Churches.
In a statement following the announcement, Mgr Hudson said he hoped to emulate Pope Francis’ “radical simplicity and outreach to those on the margins of society and of the Church.”
He added that the most precious gift he had received as a priest was knowing people with severe disabilities.
The Cambridge graduate was ordained as a priest for the Archdiocese of Southwark in 1986 and has served as a Director of the Southwark Christian Education Centre (now Centre for Catholic Formation). He moved to Rome in 2000 as Vice-Rector of English College.
Educated by the Jesuits at Wimbledon College he was baptised at Sacred Heart, which was run by the Society of Jesus up until the end of last year.
Due to declining numbers the Jesuits decided to hand over the running of the parish to the Archdiocese of Southwark last year. The archbishop, Peter Smith, appointed Mgr Hudson to the parish and he took up his post in January.
Mgr Hudson said it had “been a joy to serve there” adding: “I am only sorry I cannot stay there longer.”
The bishop-elect will be ordained on 4 June at Westminster Cathedral.
Above: The bishop-elect with Cardinal Nichols. Photo: CBCEW