The Bishops' Conference of England and Wales have announced the appointment of the first director of the new Catholic Communications Service. Mark Morley takes up this post on 1 October. Bishop Crispian Hollis, Chairman of the bishops' communications committee, said: "The review of the communications work of the Catholic church has taken a new and important step with the appointment of Mark Morley as the first Director of the Catholic Communications Service. I warmly welcome Mark's appointment and believe he will bring direct experience of media work, enthusiasm and energy to the Church's vital work of communications. As chairman of the newly formed Committee for Communications, I look forward very much to working closely with him." Mark Morley said: "It is a great honour and an immense challenge to be asked to take on this role." He told ICN: "I was delighted to be appointed. I am under no illusions as to the complexities of the job that lies ahead. I look forward very much to working with the bishops, the wider Catholic community and mainstream media, and trust I will bring a fresh and helpful approach to the work." At their April 2001 meeting, following a review of Catholic communications structure, the bishops agreed to establish a new Catholic Communications Service to bring together the Catholic Media Office (press and publishing) and the Catholic Communications Centre (training). Mr Morley will begin overseeing the setting up of the new service from October, and it is intended that the Service be operational early next year. Mark Morley, 29, has a background in strategic political communications and news management. He joined Weber Shandwick Broadcast Services in October 2000 where he has been working for clients in a strategic media relations and broadcast advisory capacity. Previously he worked as a senior media advisor to parliamentarians and politicians including Simon Hughes MP, Ed Davey MP, Baroness Ludford MEP, David McLetchie MSP, Lord Strathclyde and Lib Dem London Mayoral candidate, Susan Kramer. He has also held posts as head of press to London MEP, Baroness Ludford of Clerkenwell, head of press to Susan Kramer during the 2000 London Mayoral & GLA elections. Before this he was deputy head of Press & PR to the Conservative party in Scotland. He has worked for a variety of clients including Anglian Water, Abbey National, the Food Standards Agency and The Independent Newspaper Group where he played a significant role advising the editorial staff on their political coverage during the 2001 General Election campaign. source: Catholic Media Office
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