A Westminster auxiliary who has worked closely with Cardinal Vincent Nichols was today appointed the new Bishop of Salford.
Bishop John Arnold, 61, takes over a large, historic diocese that covers most of Greater Manchester and parts of Lancashire and was one of the first to be created following the re-establishment of the English and Welsh hierarchy in 1850.
The new bishop has born in Sheffield – his father was mayor of the city in 1973 - read Law at Oxford and then became a barrister.
He entered formation with the Institute of Charity (the Rosminians) but later transferred to the Archdiocese of Westminster and was ordained a priest in 1983. In 2001 he was appointed vicar-general of the diocese and five years later appointed as an auxiliary bishop. Renowned for his administrative skills he has been a close collaborator of Cardinal Nichols since the latter was appointed to Westminster in 2009.
Speaking about his appointment, Bishop Arnold, Bishop-elect of Salford said that he accepted "with much trepidation".
“I have much to learn in this new experience, after thirty one years of priesthood spent entirely in Westminster. On leaving Westminster I would like to give thanks for all that I have received, most especially from the three Cardinals under whom I have served and the many people from all walks of life who have encouraged me in my ministry. I am very pleased to join with so many others in offering thanks and gratitude to Bishop Terence Brain for his leadership and shepherding of the Diocese with the hope that all the good work may be progressed."
The Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, Vincent Nichols, said:
“For many years Bishop John Arnold has been a faithful and devoted priest in the Diocese of Westminster. He has served as assistant priest, parish priest, Vicar General and, for the last eight years, Auxiliary Bishop. In all of these roles he has won the admiration and deep esteem of us all.
“In the name of this Diocese, then, I rejoice in his appointment as the next Bishop of Salford, a major responsibility for which he is well suited. We shall miss him. His new Diocese, I know, will welcome him and quickly come to appreciate his many gifts, his profound dedication and his generous spirit."
Bishop Arnold is also Chairman of Trustees for Cafod, the Church’s aid charity, and at the end of last year visited the Philippines during the Typhoon Haiyan crisis. He succeeds Bishop Terence Brain who has led Salford diocese since October 1997.