Pope Francis has appointed Canon Paul Swarbrick, a diocesan priest, as the new Bishop of Lancaster.

The bishop-elect was born and raised within the diocese before training for the priesthood at Ushaw College, Durham. He was ordained in his home town of Garstang in 1982 and has served in various parishes across the diocese.

“I must confess to being in a state of surprise and shock at my appointment, and to a feeling of great inadequacy when faced with what lies ahead,” the bishop-elect said.

“Since my ordination to the priesthood at Garstang in July 1982 this was never something I expected or feel prepared for. I have given my acceptance in a spirit of profound humility, deeply conscious of my unworthiness and sinfulness.

“It is a call to follow Jesus with greater trust and more generous love, ever mindful of what he has done for me and, ultimately, the fullness of Life he calls me to share.”

Outgoing Bishop Michael Campbell said he was delighted with his successor, saying: “A native son of the Diocese of Lancaster, Bishop-Elect Swarbrick comes to the office of bishop with considerable pastoral experience”. He noted that Bishop-Elect Swarbrick has served “in a number of parishes here in the diocese” and in Zambia.

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