Former Bishop of East Anglia dies

The former Bishop of East Anglia, Peter Smith, has died. Picture: James Bass

The former Bishop of East Anglia, Peter Smith, has died. Picture: James Bass - Credit: © Eastern Counties Newspapers

The former Bishop of East Anglia, The Most Rev Peter Smith, has died aged 76.

Archbishop Peter died just before midnight on Friday, March 6, after a short battle with cancer.

He became the second Bishop of East Anglia when he was appointed by Pope John Paul II in 1995 and served the diocese for six years before he was translated to the See of Cardiff in 2001.

He became the Archbishop of Southwark in 2010 before retiring last year.

Writing to the Diocese of East Anglia clergy, current Bishop Alan Hopes said: "It is with great sadness that I write to inform you that Archbishop Peter Smith died peacefully. He had received the Sacraments of the Church and his former secretary was with him when he died.

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"His illness progressed very quickly just after his diagnosis with cancer a few weeks ago.

"I know that many of you will have fond remembrances and many stories of Archbishop Peter during his six years here which you will share with each other. I have always been most grateful to him for his wise advice and encouragement both personally and at the Bishops' Conference.

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"For over 50 years, he made an outstanding contribution to the Catholic Church across three dioceses and nationally on the Bishops' Conference. His straightforward faith, his sense of humour, honesty and humanity and his ability to cut to the chase in any debate stand out in a life which was dedicated to the Lord and his Church.

"May he rest in peace."

A Diocesan Solemn Requiem Mass will take place at St John's Cathedral on Friday, March 27, at 11.30am.

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