Page 1, 18th April 1969

18th April 1969
Page 1
Page 1, 18th April 1969 — BRENTWOOD'S BISHOP WALL RESIGNS AT 75

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Locations: London, Rome, Paris


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THE Pope has accepted the resignation of Bishop Wall of Brentwood. The announcement was made on Tuesday, exactly a month after the Bishop's 75th birthday and after he had been in poor health for some time.

This makes the third resignation of a reigning Bishop in England and Wales, the others having been Bishops Parker and Brunner. The bishop, however, will continue as Administrator Apostolic until his successor has been appointed.

Bishop Wall now becomes titular Bishop of Othona, the name of a former Roman village on the Essex coast corresponding to Bradwell-on-Sea, the seat of a suffragan Anglican bishopric.

It is associated with the Saxon Bishop St. Cedd, but is also a reminder that the modern diocese, comprising the county of Essex and three of Greater London's eastern boroughs, has the longest stretch of dockland of any English diocese.


Brentwood loses a bishop whose sympathy and approachability had become well known to all his clergy. His popularity stemmed in great part from a combination of personal dedication with a minimum of interference in the affairs of individual parishes.

This allowed for unhampered progress in the highly diversified area which witnessed The Bishops of England and Wales are not expected to issue a statement on their Low Week meting until next week.

a minor population explosion during the 13 years of Bishop Wall's term of office.

The provision of new schools and churches was given urgent priority and a record upsurge of building took place during these years, made notable also by Brentwood's being one of the first of the English dioceses to set up a Senate of Priests.

Bishop Wall's impressive bearing belies a diffident temperament which has often prevented members of his flock from coming to know him with intimacy. It has not, however, stood in the way of an impressively varied and scholarly career, which came in for generous praise at last year's celebration of Bishop Wall's golden jubilee in the priesthood.

The Pope on this occasion sent a tribute through the Apostolic Delegate saying: "You have fought for the Faith, you have loved the law of God, you have been a guardian and a good shepherd of your flock."

The Pope's further reference to the bishop's love of I.atin as a "sign of nobility of mind" must have struck a particular chord with those listening, who were well aware of the bishop's notable flair for minting crisp limericks, both in Latin and English.

Archbishop C,ardinale added his own tribute, and Dr. Wall, in replying, sketched the highlights of his 50 years in the priesthood which had begun with his ordination at the age of 24 in July 1918, and had included pastoral and teaching as well as administrative work.

His first job had taken him as assistant priest to Walworth, in South London.

PROFESSOR OF DOGMA 'Teaching followed, first of all at Mark Cross, Southwark's junior seminary, and then as Professor of Dogma at St. John's Seminary, Wonersh, where the bishop had been a student himself before his postordination periods of further study at the Institut Catholique in Paris and the Angelicum in Rome.

He returned to Wonersh as rector (and Canon Theologian to the Southwark Chapter) in 1950, becoming a Domestic Prelate to Pope Pius XII in 1952.

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