The parish priest of King’s Lynn has been made one of nine canons in an historic day in the life of the Catholic diocese of East Anglia.
He became the Very Rev Peter Canon Rollings at a Solemn Mass at St John the Baptist Cathedral in Norwich.
A congregation of 600 travelled from across Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough to witness the occasion on Thursday.
The Bishop of East Anglia, Rt Rev Alan Hopes, said: “The canons will support the life and mission of the Cathedral and the wider diocese, through their prayers and their dedicated support of the bishop in their local communities.
“They will also become a College of Consultors ... and would be consulted by the Papal Nuncio whenever there is an inter-regnum in the Diocese and a new bishop needs to be appointed.
“I am delighted that these nine priests have accepted this appointment and I ask you to pray for them that they will be led by the Holy Spirit to serve God faithfully.”
Bishop Alan then installed the provost of the chapter, Cathedral Dean Fr David Paul, who then in turn installed all the other eight canons who were first vested in a mozetta (short cape) by their sponsoring priest, and then received a biretta (square cap) which the bishop placed on their head.
Those installed were: The Very Rev David Paul (Provost), the Very Rev David Bagstaff (Vicar General), the Very Rev Simon Blakesley (Judicial Vicar), the Very Rev Mathew George Vandalakkunel (Thetford), the Very Rev Mark Hackeson (Bury St Edmunds), the Rt Rev Monsignor Eugène Harkness (Chancellor), the Very Rev Hoan Nguyen Minh (St Luke’s, Peterborough), the Very Rev Peter Rollings (Lynn) and the Very Rev Mgr Peter Leeming (Our Lady and the English Martyrs, Cambridge)
In his homily, Bishop Alan said: “This year, we enter the 40th anniversary of the establishment of our diocese on June 3, We shall celebrate our wonderful Catholic heritage that goes back not just to 1976, but to the days of another bishop, St Felix of the seventh century. Felix, like St Patrick, was a missionary bishop.
“He faced all the challenges that we face as we seek to proclaim Christ. Like Patrick and Felix we too need to be missionaries for Christ.”