Pope John Paul II has appointed Mgr Declan Lang to be the new Catholic Bishop of Clifton, the Catholic Media Office announced yesterday. The Pope has also accepted the resignation of Bishop Mervyn Alexander, who has been Bishop of Clifton since 1974, and who reached the retirement age of 75 in June 2000. Mgr Lang commented: "I feel very privileged to have been appointed Bishop of Clifton, and I ask your prayers as I undertake this new ministry in my life. I look forward to meeting all the people of the Diocese, and for us to work together in proclaiming, living and celebrating the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I would like to thank Bishop Alexander for his welcome and for the support he has already given me." Mgr Lang was born in Cowes (Isle of Wight) on 15 April 1950 and educated at Ryde School. In 1968 he went to Allen Hall, St Edmund's College, Ware to study for the priesthood. While at Allen Hall he also gained a BA in History from Royal Holloway College, University of London. He was ordained for the diocese of Portsmouth in 1975 by Bishop Worlock, and from 1975 to 1979 was an Assistant Priest at the Cathedral. In 1979 he was appointed Secretary to Bishop Emery and Chancellor of the Diocese of Portsmouth. From 1983 to 1990, he was Adult Religious Education Advisor, and Parish Priest, first in Bishop's Waltham and then in Bournemouth. In 1990, Mgr Lang became Moderator of the Curia and Administrator of the Cathedral, and in 1996 he was appointed Vicar General of the Diocese. He chaired the working party on clergy appraisal set up by the Bishop' Conference and the National Conference of Priests which produced the recommendations document "Supporting Ministry" in 1999. Mgr Lang will be ordained as Bishop of Clifton on 28 March 2001, in Clifton Cathedral.
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