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Bishop Alan celebrates his 75th birthday in Norwich

Bishop Alan Hopes marked his 75th birthday yesterday when parishioners of St John the Baptist Cathedral in Norwich gathered in the Narthex after the Solemn Mass and sang Happy Birthday to him.

Jo Graham, one of the parishioners, had baked a very large cake which was cut by Bishop Alan helped by two young people from the First Holy Communion group at the cathedral, Leanne  (pictured above on the left) and Samy (both aged 7 years).

As is customary for Catholic bishops, when they reach the age of 75, Bishop Alan will be writing a letter to Pope Francis tendering his resignation as Bishop of East Anglia.

The normal convention is that a bishop will stay in post until his successor is appointed.

The Pope is assisted in the appointment process by the Apostolic Nuncio to Great Britain, His Excellency Archbishop Edward Adams, who will making a three-day visit to the Diocese in May.