25 January 2024, The Tablet

Beneath the mitre – planting hope

by John Arnold

Beneath the mitre – planting hope

Bishop John Arnold
Diocese of Salford


In the third of a series exploring episcopal life, the Bishop of Salford John Arnold offers environmental lessons to children, and solace to the dispirited.

At the age of six, I had my heart set on following my father into the law. I made myself a little office at home, with a toy plastic phone. “Good morning,” I’d say to my imaginary callers. “This is John Arnold. I’m a lawyer.”


I was born in June 1953 and, though my father wasn’t Catholic, my mother was quietly firm in her faith. She didn’t preach it, but she lived it by gentle example: lovely. She took meals to elderly people who were housebound. And, if a problem arose, she’d say: “We must pray about this.” That made an impact on me.

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