Roman Catholic Diocese of Portsmouth
|Diocese of Portsmouth
Dioecesis Portus Magni
Current Bishop of Portsmouth – Coat of Arms
|Territory||Hampshire, the Isle of Wight, the Channel Isles and parts of Berkshire, Dorset and Oxfordshire.|
|Deaneries||24 (Pastoral Areas)|
|Area||6,339 km2 (2,448 sq mi)|
|(as of 2004)
|Established||19 May 1882|
|Patron saint||St. Edmund of Abingdon and The Immaculate Conception|
|Metropolitan Archbishop||Peter Smith|
|Emeritus Bishops||Crispian Hollis|
The diocese within the Province of Southwark
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Portsmouth is a Latin Rite Roman Catholic diocese in England and covers Hampshire, the Isle of Wight, the Channel Isles and parts of Berkshire, Dorset and Oxfordshire. The episcopal see is the Portsmouth Cathedral and is headed by the Bishop of Portsmouth. The diocese is part of the metropolitan Province of Southwark, which covers all of the far South of England.
The Diocese of Portsmouth, situated centrally within the Metropolitan Province of Southwark, extending as far as Abingdon in the North; and down to and including the Channel Islands in the South, and roughly from Liphook in the East to Andover in the West. The Diocese adjoins the dioceses of Birmingham and Northampton to the North, the diocese of Arundel & Brighton to the East and the dioceses of Plymouth and Clifton to the West. It officially comprises the counties of Hampshire, Berkshire (south of the Thames), Oxfordshire (south of the Thames), Dorset (the Bournemouth area), the Isle of Wight and the Channel Islands.
The area of the Diocese of Portsmouth is 6,339 km2 (2,447sq Miles) and has a total population (2001 census) of 2,960,077. Its estimated Catholic population (2004) is 167,000. There are 112 parishes (2005) and 128 incardinated priests, with a further 86 from religious orders, congregations & societies. There are also 31 permanent deacons serving in the parishes plus 101 professed non-priest religious and 255 professed women religious. Education comprises 48 primary/middle/ecumenical schools (aided and grant maintained), 8 secondary and 24 independent schools which completes the picture.
By a Papal Brief dated 19 May 1882, Pope Leo XIII created the Diocese of Portsmouth. It was formed out of the western portion of the Diocese of Southwark, as constituted at the re-establishment of the hierarchy in 1850. The Southwark diocese had become too large for one Bishop, extending as it did from London to Bournemouth and from the outskirts of Oxford to Dover and including the Channel Islands.
The new diocese comprised the counties of Hampshire, the Isle of Wight, Berkshire, and the Channel Islands. It was thus almost co-terminous with the limits of the Diocese of Winchester. The obvious place for the cathedral and curia of the new diocese was Winchester. The Ecclesiastical Titles Act forbade a Catholic diocese to have the same name as an Anglican see. It would appear that the original intention was to fix the see at Southampton, with St. Joseph's Church in Bugle Street as the pro-cathedral. The construction of a large parish church in the centre of Portsmouth had begun, and it was decided to make it the future cathedral of the diocese.
Dr. John Vertue (1826–1900) was appointed the first bishop of the new diocese. He was consecrated by Cardinal Manning on 25 July 1882 and on 10 August of that year opened the Cathedral of St John the Evangelist at Portsmouth. When the new Bishop took possession of his see, there were fifty-five public chapels and forty-nine priests in the diocese.
Since 1900 the diocese has had six bishops: John Cahill, 1900–1910; William Cotter (who came from Cloyne in Co. Cork), 1910–1940; John Henry King (who was given the personal title of Archbishop in 1954), 1941–1965; Derek Worlock (Translated to Liverpool as Archbishop 7 February 1976), 1965–1976; Anthony Emery, 1976–1988; Crispian Hollis, 1988–2012.
On Tuesday, 11 July 2012, Bishop Egan's appointment as the Eighth Bishop of Portsmouth was announced in an official press release from the Vatican Information Service (VIS), an arm of the Holy See Press Office. At the time of his appointment Bishop Egan was serving as the Vicar General of the Diocese of Shrewsbury. Bishop Egan's Episcopal Ordination took place at St John’s Cathedral, Portsmouth on Monday 24 September 2012, the Feast of Our Lady of Walsingham.
Bishop Egan was born on 14 November 1955, in Altrincham, a suburb of Manchester. After classical studies locally at St. Ambrose College and at Kings College London, he completed training for the priesthood at Allen Hall, Westminster, and at the Venerable English College in Rome. On 4 August 1984, he was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Shrewsbury. From 1984 to 1988, Egan served as parochial vicar at St. Anthony's, Woodehouse Park, Manchester. From 1988 to 1991, he served as an assistant chaplain at the University of Cambridge. From 1991 to 1994, he served as parish vicar and chaplain at Arrowe Park Hospital on the Wirral. From 1994 to 1995, he completed theological studies at Boston College in the United States, going on to serve, until 2007, as a Professor of Fundamental Theology and Dean of Studies at Oscott College seminary in Birmingham. In 2007–2008, also in Boston he attended Lonergan Post Doctoral Fellowship Studies. In 2008, Egan became parish priest of Our Lady and St Christopher's in Stockport. In 2010, he was named to his previous post as Vicar General of the Diocese of Shrewsbury.
He was installed as bishop of Portsmouth on 27 January 1989. He has been chairman of the Catholic Media Trust and also chairman of the Bishops' Committee for Europe. He is member of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications in the Vatican. He is chairman of the Bishops' Conference Department of Mission and Unity, representative for the Bishops' Conference of the Churches Together in Britain and Ireland and a member of IARCCUM (International Anglican Roman Catholic Committee for Unity and Mission).
He reached the standard retirement age of 75 in November 2011.
Other Notables of Diocese
Rev Mgr Tom McGrath VG
Rev Mgr John Nelson VG
Rev Mgr Vincent Harvey VG
Moderator for the Curia
Rev Mgr John Nelson STL, JCL, VG
Episcopal Vicar for the Care and Formation of the Clergy
Rev Canon Paul Townsend EpV
Episcopal Vicar for Religious
Rev Thomas Taaffe EpV
Chancellor for the Diocese
Rev Canon Richard Hind
Following a long period of consultation, the Diocese's new Pastoral Areas were launched at Pentecost 2006, with the aim to convert the Pastoral Areas into Parishes, so in the end of this, there will be 24 parishes in total in this diocese.
The new Pastoral Areas with their respective parishes are:
- Portsmouth: Portsmouth Cathedral – Corpus Christi with St Joseph – Our Lady & St Swithun – St Colman with St Paul
- Thames Isis: Abingdon – Didcot – East Hendred – North Hinksey – Wallingford
- Central and West Reading: English Martyrs – St James & St William – St Joseph
- Loddon Valley: Reading: Christ the King – Our Lady of Peace & Blessed Dominic Barberi – Twyford – Woodley
- South Berkshire: Bracknell: St Joseph and St Margaret Clitherow – Crowthorne & Sandhurst – Wokingham
- North East Hampshire: Aldershot – Church Crookham – Farnborough Our Lady Help of Christians – Farnborough Our Lady & St Dominic – Fleet – Hartley Wintney – Yateley
- North West Hampshire: Andover & Whitchurch – Basingstoke Holy Ghost – Basingstoke St Joseph – Hook – Tadley – Whitchurch
- Hampshire Downs: Hampshire Downs parish [CONVERTED TO PARISH]
- Solent: Fareham – Portchester – Gosport – Lee-on-the-Solent with Stubbington – Park Gate [CONVERTED TO PARISH]
- Southampton East: Hedge End – Netley – Southampton: Christ the King & St Colman – Immaculate Conception – St Patrick
- Southampton Central and West: Holy Family – St Boniface – St Joseph & St Edmund – St Vincent de Paul
- Avon Stour: Bournemouth Our Lady Queen of Peace & Blessed Margaret Pole – St Thomas More – Christchurch – Fordingbridge – Highcliffe – Ringwood
- Bournemouth: Annunciation & St Edmund Campion – Corpus Christi – Our Lady Immaculate – Sacred Heart
In a revision of these plans in was announced in 2012 that all 7 parishes in Reading, including St. Annes in Caversham (across the river in the Diocese of Birmingham) would become a single pastoral area.
- Hampshire Downs parish
Hampshire Downs Pastoral Area
- Jersey parish
Jersey Pastoral Area
Solent Pastoral Area
- St. Swithun Wells parish
Three Rivers Pastoral Area
Deaneries used to be used in the Diocese of Portsmouth, until Pastoral Areas were created to replace Deaneries, here is a list of the Deaneries from 2005, a year before Pastoral Areas were created.
Portsmouth, Aldershot, Alton, Basingstoke, Bournemouth, Fareham, Havant, New Forest, Southampton, Winchester, North East Berks, South Berks, Kennet Valley, Vale of the White Horse, Reading, Isle of Wight, Guernsey, Jersey
The Portsmouth Diocese makes up part of the Catholic Association Pilgrimage.
- Fr Philip Egan ordained as Bishop of Portsmouth
|Wikisource has the text of the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia article Diocese of Portsmouth.|