‘On coming into the Diocese in 2015, I spoke of three elements that are central to the life of the Diocese: Prayer, Formation, Mission. These three are core to our purpose of proclaiming The Word who is Life … We are Christ’s instruments in a society that is in need of Evangelisation. This is the Mission of the Church – the “New Evangelisation”.’
Bishop Richard was born in Zambia in 1958. He was brought up in Kent, becoming an altar server at his local church. He first felt called to the priesthood when he was eleven or twelve years old and joined St John’s Seminary, Wonersh in 1976, aged eighteen. Bishop Richard was ordained to the priesthood on 3rd July 1982, he served as Bishop of the Armed Forces from 2009 to 2015 and was installed as the fifth bishop of our Diocese on the 28th May 2015, at Arundel Cathedral.
Bishop Richard is Chair of Governors at St Mary’s University in Twickenham and Chair of the Department for Social Justice for the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales. One of Bishop Richard’s key responsibilities within the department is his role as Liaison Bishop for Prisons. He has been outspoken on a number of issues affecting prisoners and their families including the dangers of overcrowding, the impact of Covid-19 and the importance of creating a criminal justice system ‘that works and offers a genuinely rehabilitative environment… [bringing] humanity and hope to our prison estate.’
Bishop Richard’s motto 'Pax et Gaudium in Domino' is reflected in his Coat of Arms, it means 'Peace and Joy in the Lord'. Bishop Richard chose this motto to express the joy of the Gospel.
Pax Et Gaudium | Peace and Joy
A bishop’s coat of arms gives us a sense of his history and his mission.
Bishop Richard’s coat of arms is from the College of Arms. The Grant of Arms describes his coat of arms as Paly-wavy of ten Bleu-celeste and Gules on a Chief Or four Crosses of Jerusalem the outer pair issuant Gules. It could also be described as ten wavy stripes in sky blue and red, with a gold field above containing four red Jerusalem Crosses.
The wavy stripes are a reference to Bishop Richard’s place of birth (the Zambian Arms consist of similar stripes in black and silver), the Crosses of Jerusalem are a reference to Bishop Richard’s membership of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem. The blue is a reminder of Our Lady and the red a reminder of the English Martyrs.
Bishop Richard records a weekly video podcast. These short videos provide an opportunity for prayer and reflection, providing insight on the upcoming readings at Mass and exploring important events in the life of our church family and wider world.