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Archdiocese of Cardiff
Christopher Whitehead pic.jpg
Archdiocese of Cardiff
World News

Canon set to be new Bishop of Plymouth resumes duties as parish priest

by Donna Birrell

The Catholic Diocese of Clifton has said a canon who was due to be installed as the next Bishop of Plymouth has resumed his duties as Parish Priest of Saint John the Evangelist in Bath.

Rev Canon Christopher Whitehead had been preparing to be installed Bishop in February when the service was cancelled just three weeks beforehand, due to what was described by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales as “a canonical process”.

Canon Whitehead, who is 54, then stepped back from active ministry.

In a statement, the Diocese of Clifton said that it has now “undertaken a preliminary investigation into the allegations raised against Canon Christopher Whitehead. At the conclusion of the aforementioned inquiry, it was determined that no canonical action was warranted. The Diocese communicates that Canon Whitehead has resumed his duties as Parish Priest of Saint John the Evangelist in Bath.”

A spokesperson for the Diocese of Plymouth told Premier:

"The appointment of a new bishop is made by the Holy Father, Pope Francis. We continue to wait for an official announcement from the Holy See as to who will be appointed as the next Bishop of Plymouth.”

Premier Christian News has contacted the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales for comment.

The Diocese of Plymouth covers much of the south west of England including Cornwall, Devon and Dorset and the installation of a new bishop has been much anticipated. The former Bishop of Plymouth Mark O'Toole moved on to become the Archbishop of Cardiff in June 2022.



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