By Richard Shaw THE BISHOPS of England and Wales have appointed an experienced public relations executive to be the Church's
new communications director.
Mark Morley will become the first director of communications for the Catholic Church in England and Wales to have overall charge of all the Church's communication bodies.
Mr Morley, who though only 29 has already had a successful career in press and public relations, will also be the first black man to hold such a position in the Church in England and Wales,
He said: "I am utterly
delighted at the appointment, but I am under no illusions about it.
"I know it will be challenging and demanding and I know it will be difficult at times.
"There is a lot to be done, both in terms of changes and in terms of building on the great deal of good that is already there.
"I want to tighten up the areas of communication. I want to introduce contemporary best practice," he stud.
He added: "I also want to improve how we get the message out to the secular media and the world at large.
"We have so much good to say — about poverty, racism and marriage. The Church is often seen as against things.
"The Church is not against things. She is for things. She is for human rights, she is for the dignity of the person, she is for the family.
"We have got to get that message out to the secular media. We have to make sure we are not afraid of the secular press."
Bishop Crispian Hollis of Portsmouth, chairman of the bishops' communications committee. said: "I warmly welcome Mark's appointment and I believe he will bring direct experience of the media, enthusiasm and energy to the Church's vital work of communications."
After completing a degree in political science and philosophy at Birmingham and a masters in international politics at Keele, Mr Morley worked for the Scottish Conservative Party as the deputy head of press, before going on to work in the Liberal Democrat press office in London as, among other posts, the London regional press officer.
The creation of the post has been the result of a thorough review into the Church's relations with the media.
The appointment is one of the first changes to be announced as a result of the review. Others will be announced in the coming months.