Bishop of Burnley succeeds the Bishop of Chichester Martin Warner
The Bishop of Burnley, The Rt Revd Philip North, has been elected as the new Master of the Guardians of the Anglican Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham in Norfolk. He succeeds the Bishop of Chichester, The Rt Revd Martin Warner, who has completed his three terms as Master.
Other appointments made by Chapter were The Revd Andrew Mitcham (Vicar of Walsingham, Houghton St Giles and the Barshams) to be the Registrar of the College of Guardians (in succession to Fr Kevin Smith) and The Revd Philip Barnes (the current Interim Priest Administrator) to be a Guardian.
Bishop Philip North is no stranger to Walsingham. He was appointed a Guardian of the Shrine in 2000. From 2002 to 2008 he was Priest Administrator at the Shrine and from 2004 to 2007 was also Priest-in-Charge of Hempton and Pudding Norton in the diocese of Norwich. His appointment as Master comes just a few weeks before Father Kevin Smith takes over as Priest Administrator from Father Philip Barnes who has been Interim Administrator during 2016.
He said today: “It is an immense honour to become Master of the Guardians and to be able to offer service once again to a place which has brought conversion, healing and refreshment to so many pilgrims over the years. He added: “This is an exciting time for the Shrine with a new Priest Administrator about to start and some really good plans for the new season. I look forward to doing all I can to support Fr Kevin and the College of Guardians in their work in ensuring that England’s Nazareth continues to be a place where all can meet Mary’s child, the source of life and salvation.”
After studying at York University, Bishop Philip trained for the priesthood at St Stephen’s House, Oxford. He served his curacy at S. Mary and S. Peter, Sunderland in the Diocese of Durham from 1992 to 1996. Since 1997 he has been involved with the Company of Mission Priests. From 1996 to 2002 he was Vicar of Holy Trinity, Hartlepool in the Durham Diocese and from 2000 to 2002 he was Area Dean of Hartlepool.
In 2008 Bishop Philip became Team Rector of the Parish of Old S. Pancras in the Diocese of London and was appointed as Bishop of Burnley, in the Diocese of Blackburn, in 2014.