Portsmouth celebrates 125th anniversary

 This year marks the 125th anniversary of the establishment of the Catholic Diocese of Portsmouth - stretching from the city of Portsmouth to Maidenhead, Bournemouth, Southampton and the Isle of Wight. It is also the anniversary of the establishment of St John's Cathedral and of Portsmouth becoming a Cathedral City. Celebrations are going to be held in parish communities throughout the diocese all year. They begin with a grand celebration at the Cathedral this evening at 6pm. Archbishop Kevin McDonald, Bishop Declan Lang of Clifton Diocese and Bishop Peter Doyle of Northampton Diocese will be joining Bishop Crispian Hollis of Portsmouth for the event, which will draw on all corners of the Diocese with representatives of the many parishes bringing a symbol of their area. The Catholic community of Portsmouth continues to grow: Canon David Hopgood, Cathedral Dean said: "From small beginnings 125 years ago, our numbers have grown steadily over the years. Today we have a thriving Cathedral parish in the very heart of town. We hope as many people as possible will be able to join us and celebrate our 125th anniversary. "It is a privilege and honour for me to represent the Diocese of Portsmouth," reflected Bishop Crispian Hollis. "Ours is a vibrant community with many achievements both at ground roots level and above." Two of the Bishops in attendance at the anniversary celebrations - Bishops Doyle and Lang - were priests of the Diocese before being ordained to their respective posts. Moreover, Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor, was also a priest of the Portsmouth Diocese. For more information see: www.PortsmouthCatholicCathedral.org Source: Diocese of Portsmouth

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