On March 13th 1976, by decree Quod Ecumenicum Pope Paul VI formed the Diocese of East Anglia from the Counties of Cambridge, Norfolk and Suffolk, from the Diocese of Northampton.
On 2nd June 1976, the new diocese received its first Bishop, Alan Clark. Bishop Alan Clark had previously been Auxiliary Bishop of Northampton and co-chairman of ARCIC (Anglican/Roman Catholic International Commission). Being the first Bishop of the new diocese, Bishop Clark had to set up all the necessary instruments and commissions for the diocese to operate successfully. The establishment of the Diocesan Pastoral Council in 1987 strengthened these.
The diocese continued to grow with the development of the Diocesan offices and Diocesan Tribunal attached to Bishop’s House in Poringland near Norwich. Bishop Clark led a number of Lourdes Pilgrimages.
Following his 75th birthday in August 1994 Bishop Clark retired as Bishop of East Anglia. On 2nd June 2001 Bishop Alan celebrated the 25th Anniversary of his installation as the First Bishop of the Diocese.
On the 21st March 1995 Peter Smith, Rector of St John’s Seminary, Southwark Archdiocese was appointed the 2nd Bishop of East Anglia by Pope John-Paul II. He was ordained Bishop in St John’s Roman Catholic Cathedral in Norwich on Saturday 27th May 1995 by the late Cardinal Basil Hume.
On Friday 14th February 2003 Pope John Paul II appointed Canon Michael Evans as the third Bishop of East Anglia. He succeeded the Most Reverend Peter Smith, who was the Archbishop of Cardiff (and now the Archbishop of Southwark).
Canon Michael was ordained as the third bishop of East Anglia at the Cathedral Church of St John the Baptist, Norwich on Wednesday 19th March 2003 at 12 noon.
Sadly, Bishop Michael Evans passed away after a very brave fight against cancer on 11 July 2011 whilst still in office
The Diocese of East Anglia is ‘twinned’ with the Apostolic Prefecture of Battambang in Cambodia, and the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem. Patrons of the diocese are: Our Lady of Walsingham (September 24th), St Felix (March 8th) and St Edmund ( November 20th).