Bishop Alan Hopes named as new Bishop of East Anglia

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Media captionBishop Alan Hopes said he was delighted and proud he had been appointed

A former Church of England priest has been appointed the new Roman Catholic Bishop of East Anglia.

The Right Reverend Alan Hopes, 69, succeeds the Right Reverend Michael Evans, who died from cancer in 2011.

He was ordained bishop and appointed as an auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Westminster, in January 2003.

Bishop Alan served as a priest in the Church of England until 1994 when he converted to the Roman Catholic church where he was ordained a priest in 1995.

"I feel very proud that the Holy Father has appointed me as the Bishop of East Anglia," he said.

Image caption The new bishop, pictured with Pope Francis, said he was "surprised" by the appointment

Bishop Alan will be the fourth leader of Catholics in Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Norfolk.

After his ordination as a Roman Catholic priest, Bishop Alan served as assistant priest at Our Lady of Victories in Kensington, London, before becoming parish priest of the Holy Redeemer and St Thomas More, Chelsea.

His appointment as auxiliary bishop of Westminster made him one of the most senior members of the Catholic clergy to have converted to the faith.

He said: "I worked very hard amongst the different language speaking communities in Westminster.

"I know there are a number of communities here and I hope to be able to draw them into the community of the church."

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