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Pastoral Letter

To be read at all Masses on 1st January 2006,
the Solemnity of The Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God

My dear People,

I am writing to inform you of a very important development within the life of our Diocese. Pope Benedict has appointed two new Auxiliary Bishops to help me in my responsibilities of administration and pastoral care in the diocese. The two new bishops will be: Father Paul Hendricks, parish priest of Peckham, and Father Patrick Lynch, SS.CC, parish priest of South Norwood and Episcopal Vicar for Religious.

I am very pleased indeed about these appointments. Please do keep our new bishops-elect in your prayers. Together with Bishop Hine, the two new bishops will be of great assistance to me as we face the great challenges that lie ahead. Father Lynch will take responsibility for the South-East Area of the Diocese and Father Hendricks will take responsibility for the South-West Area. I know that you will give them a warm welcome when you meet them.

In conveying this news to you, I would like also to express my appreciation to Bishop Charles Henderson and Bishop Howard Tripp, both of whom have given outstanding service to the Diocese, especially in their particular areas of responsibility for pastoral care in South London. I am grateful to Bishop Howard for continuing with this pastoral care after his retirement had been accepted by the Pope. I also want to thank Monsignor Richard Moth for having taken on the responsibility for the pastoral care in the South-East Area following the retirement of Bishop Charles Henderson. Monsignor Moth has combined this responsibility with his work as Vicar General over the last four and a half years.

Once again, I do ask you to pray for the diocese that, together, we may respond to God's call with great faith and hope.

With my blessing and every good wish,

+Kevin McDonald
Archbishop of Southwark

27th December 2005
Feast of St John Apostle and Evangelist