In such a large Diocese as Southwark, which spans from Kent across the whole of South London and some parts of Surrey, we have traditionally had three Auxiliary (Assistant) Bishops to assist our Archbishop. Ever since Bishop Paul Mason accepted the role as Bishop of the Armed Forces in 2018, the area of Kent has been without a Bishop. We have, of course, been under the care and service of Monsignor Matthew Dickens, Canon John O’Toole as Episcopal Vicar and then recently Canon Luke Smith, but we still have been awaiting new appointments. The South East are now without an Area Bishop since Bishop Patrick Lynch’s retirement. The Archbishop informs us that a request for Auxiliary Bishops has been put forward to Rome but, ‘a favourable response to my request is neither guaranteed nor quick – we just wait in joyful hope.’
Archbishop Wilson is aware of how long Kent have been without an Episcopal presence, so he has appointed Bishop Paul Hendricks who is currently Area Bishop for South West as Area Bishop of Kent.
Fr. Gerald Bradley has been appointed Episcopal Vicar of South West and Fr. Victor Darlington as Episcopal Vicar of South East. These appointments will begin this coming September. We are asked to include them in our prayers at this time.