From 2013 to his death, Mgr Mark he served as Catholic Chaplain to the University of Cambridge – a place he studied Classics in 1979.
A few weeks before his death, he wrote to the community at Fisher House, the university’s Catholic chaplaincy, thanking them for their support and prayers and insisting he didn’t want any “fuss” as he moved into a hospice for end-of-life care:
“I have had a wonderful and varied ministry and priesthood, and undertaken extraordinary tasks, but none has thrilled and delighted me like the chaplaincy at Fisher House. The opportunity to encounter and influence the young people, to be fired by your enthusiasm and holiness, and to build the wider community, has given me great hope for the future of the Church and of our society.”
Bishop Alan Hopes paid tribute, saying: “The Diocese of East Anglia has reason to be grateful to Mgr Mark for his wonderful and fruitful work at Fisher House among the Catholic and many other students of Cambridge University. Also for his support and encouragement for many of our clergy in the work of spiritual direction and assisting in the work of ongoing formation. Our prayers and thoughts are with his family and the members of the Cambridge Catholic Chaplaincy at this time. May he rest in peace.”
On learning of Mgr Mark’s death, Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster said: “Since March 2020, 18 priests of Westminster Diocese have died. The latest sad death is that of Mgr Mark. Each of these priests contributed mightily to the work of the Church, as did Mgr Mark. We pray for them all, and today we pray especially for Mgr Mark. May they rest in peace and rise in glory.”
Diocese of East Anglia Chancellor, Mgr Eugène Canon Harkness, paid tribute saying: “Mgr Mark has left a huge legacy of pastoral care throughout his priestly life. He is now called on to continue his work of intercession for us as we will for him. We thank God for the gift of his life and commend him into His care that he may rest in peace and rise in glory.”
A staff member of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity from 2009-2013, Mgr Mark. retained his great interest in ecumenism when he returned from Rome to join the chaplaincy team at Cambridge University.
Before his death, Mgr Mark. thanked Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge for their “wonderful treatment” that enabled him to “lead a full and active ministry” towards the end.
Mgr Mark. died peacefully at the Hospice of St John and St Elizabeth, St John’s Wood, London where he received end-of-life care since January 6.
Picture of Mgr Mark Lanham courtesy of CBCEW.