The Catholic Bishop’s Conference for England and Wales has announced the former Anglican Bishop of Monmouth, Rt Rev Richard Pain, has been received into the Catholic Church.
In a statement, the group confirmed Bishop Richard will join the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham - a canonical structure similar to a diocese, to enable Anglicans and Methodists to join the Catholic Church while preserving elements of their liturgical and spiritual practices.
He is the first Welsh Anglican bishop to convert to Catholicism through the Ordinariate established by Pope Benedict XVI in 2011.
Born in London in 1956, Rt Rev Richard Pain studied in Bristol and Cardiff and was ordained priest in the Church in Wales at Newport Cathedral in 1986. All his ministry was based in the Diocese of Monmouth, holding roles such as vicar of Monmouth, Archdeacon of Monmouth and then bishop of Monmouth in 2013 before retiring in 2019.
Speaking of his forthcoming reception, Bishop Richard said the conversion to Catholicism seemed “natural and spiritual at the same time”.
“‘Having retired from episcopal ministry three years ago, I have had time to reflect on the retiree’s perennial question- what next? The process of discernment continues throughout life and is constantly shaped by context but more importantly by the whisper of God’s voice.
“The Benedictine understanding of obedience – hearing the Lord- has been significant to my personal formation. The call to conversion which follows has led me to becoming a convert to the Catholic Church through the Ordinariate.
“I have much to be grateful for the experience gained over a lifetime as an Anglican. Yet the call to Catholicism seems natural and spiritual at the same time. To start afresh will be a welcome challenge and I come – as we all do – as a learner and a disciple. The Ordinariate, through the vision of Pope Benedict, provides a generous pathway to walk a pilgrim way and I ask for your prayers,” he said.
The 66-year-old will be received on 2nd July at St Basil & St Gwladys by Rt Revd Keith Newton, Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham. Monsignor Newton said the Church is “delighted” to receive Rev Pain into the Ordinariate and praised his “many gifts” which he will “continue to use to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ to the people of Wales”.
Bishop Richard will join the ranks of other senior Anglican clerics who have decided to leave the Anglican Church and become Roman Catholic, including Dr Michael Nazir-Ali, Rt Rev Jonathan Goodall, and Dr Peter Forster.