Bishop Emeritus Alan Hopes celebrates 80th birthday

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Bishop Emeritus Alan Hopes celebrates 80th birthday

Bishop Emeritus Alan Hopes celebrated his 80th birthday at the Cathedral of St John the Baptist in Norwich on March 19, the Feast of St Joseph.

At the celebration of Mass held at the Cathedral of St John the Baptist, Bishop Emeritus Alan Hopes commemorated his 80th birthday. The celebration, which coincided with the Feast of St Joseph, saw a significant gathering of the diocesan community to honour not just a personal milestone, but a life dedicated to service and faith.

The Mass, presided over by Bishop Alan, was attended by Bishop Peter Collins, alongside clergy, religious, and laypeople from across the diocese. In his welcoming remarks, Bishop Alan drew a parallel between his life and that of St Joseph, acknowledging the blessings and challenges that come with age and leadership. “As I begin my 8th decade, I feel that I have much in common with St Joseph,” he said, “so that’s quite a good thing to celebrate on this day. However, unlike St Joseph, who had to cope with so many challenges and an unknown future in his old age, I’ve been granted time to enjoy the true delights of a happy retirement.” He expressed gratitude for the opportunity to celebrate this significant moment, “Bishop Peter, I’m so grateful to you for giving this old man an opportunity to continue to celebrate my significant birthday with you all here today in the cathedral.”

He continued: “I’m offering Mass today for you, Bishop Peter, and for all the priests and clergy, and the people and religious of the diocese, in thanksgiving to God for His many blessings.”

At the end of Mass, Bishop Peter offered his heartfelt birthday wishes: “Dear Bishop Alan, on behalf of the Diocesan family, those here present and those who are praying across every parish for you today, we wish you a very happy birthday. Your birthday, of course, fell on St Patrick’s Day. An anomaly, really, for most quintessential Englishmen,” said Bishop Peter, adding, “But we are delighted that you are with us on this glorious feast of Joseph. Your fourscore years bear abundant testimony to the glory of your own personal faith. And there is such ample evidence of the fruitfulness of your ministry as an Anglican and as a Catholic.”

The celebration continued after Mass, as clergy and parishioners shared a meal in honour of both Bishop Alan’s birthday and the Feast of St Joseph.

Pictured above is Bishop Alan, Bishop Peter and the celebrating clergy. Pictured below is Bishop Alan.