A special Mass was celebrated yesterday, to say farewell to Bishop Ambrose Griffiths, who is retiring as bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle after reaching the compulsory retirement age of 75. More than 150 priests and 500 other representatives from across the diocese gathered at St Mary's Cathedral, in Newcastle, for the midday Mass. At the end of the Mass, Bishop Griffiths was due to be presented, by Fr William Bellamy, with a new car and computer, bought by the parishes of his diocese. Fr William Bellamy, parish priest of St Michael's Church, in Elswick, is Newcastle's longest-serving priest. Bishop Ambrose will return to serve in his former parish in Leyland, Lancashire at the end of this month. He is being succeeded by Canon Kevin Dunn, who will be ordained as the 12th bishop of Hexham and Newcastle on 25 May.
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