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Tributes paid to former East Anglia Bishop Peter Smith

Tributes have been paid to Archbishop Peter Smith, the former second Bishop of East Anglia, who died peacefully yesterday, after a short illness.

Writing to Diocese of East Anglia clergy, Bishop Alan Hopes said: “It is with great sadness that I write to inform you that Archbishop Peter Smith died peacefully just before midnight yesterday – March 6. He had received the Sacraments of the Church and his former secretary was with him when he died. His illness progressed very quickly just after his diagnosis with cancer a few weeks ago.”

Archbishop Peter, aged 76, was the second Bishop of East Anglia and served the Diocese from 1995 until 2001 when he was translated to the See of Cardiff. He became Archbishop of Southwark in 2010 until his retirement in 2019.

“I know that many of you will have fond remembrances and many stories of Archbishop Peter during his six years here which you will share with each other,” said Bishop Alan. “I have always been most grateful to him for his wise advice and encouragement both personally and at the Bishops’ Conference.

“For over 50 years, he made an outstanding contribution to the Catholic Church  across three dioceses and nationally on the Bishops’ Conference. His straightforward faith, his sense of humour, honesty and humanity and his ability to cut to the chase in any debate stand out in a life which was dedicated to the Lord and his Church. May he rest in peace.

“Please pray for Archbishop Peter in your parish intercessions this weekend and offer Mass for him as soon as possible.”

Cardinal Vincent Nichols, said: “Archbishop Peter devoted his life entirely and unwaveringly to the service of the Lord in His Church. Peter served as bishop in three dioceses. There are, then, many who will remember him personally and treasure those memories.”

A Diocesan Solemn Requiem Mass will be celebrated for Archbishop Peter in St John’s Cathedral on Friday March 27 at 11.30am. All diocesan priests are invited to concelebrate with Bishop Alan, who hopes there will be a good representation of people from every parish. There will be tea and coffee available in the Narthex for everyone and the Café will also be open.

The Funeral for Archbishop Peter Smith will take place at St George’s Cathedral, Southwark, as follows:

Sunday 29th March:

6pm: Reception into St George’s Cathedral followed by Cathedral Mass: Archbishop John Wilson to preside.

8pm: Vigil Service, after which the Cathedral will close.

Monday 30th March:

12.30 pm: Funeral Mass: Archbishop John Wilson to preside.

Burial in the Cathedral Crypt at the end of the Mass

Pictured above is Archbishop Peter Smith. Picture © Mazur/

Please send your memories of and tributes to Archbishop Peter Smith (along with your full name and parish) for use in the diocesan newspaper to