Two former Anglican bishops are due to be ordained as Catholic priests within the next few weeks.

Jonathan Goodall, the former Bishop of Ebbsfleet, will be consecrated in Westminster Cathedral on Saturday March 12 and John Goddard, the former Bishop of Burnley, will be ordained a Catholic priest in the Lutyens Chapel of the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King, Liverpool, on Saturday April 2.

Both men were formerly Anglo-Catholics and they were two of four Anglican bishops who were received in the Catholic Church last year.

The former Anglican Bishop of Rochester, Michael Nazir-Ali, and the former Bishop of Chester, Peter Forster, were also received into the Catholic faith last autumn, while Dr Gavin Ashenden, a former chaplain to the Queen and a traditionalist Anglican bishop, became a Catholic in Shrewsbury Cathedral at Christmas 2019.

Fr Nazir-Ali and Dr Forster are both from the Evangelical wing of the Church of England. The former was ordained as a Catholic priest of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham soon after his reception into the Catholic Church.

Rev. Goodall, a married father of two whose wife, Sarah, has also become a Catholic, will serve as the parish priest of St William of York in Stanmore in the Archdiocese of Westminster and in the north London borough of Harrow.

Rev. Goddard (pictured), also a married father of two, is also hoping to serve as a diocesan priest and is hoping to be appointed to a parish in the Archdiocese of Liverpool after he is ordained by Auxiliary Bishop Tom Williams of Liverpool.

“I cannot think of a greater joy in life than serving as a parish priest,” he told the Catholic Herald. “It is perhaps the greatest gift for an ordained person.”

Rev. Goodall first announced his decision to become a Catholic via a statement posted on the website of the Diocese of Ebbsfleet, set up in 1994 to serve Anglo-Catholic parishes which would not accept women as priests, following a long period of prayer he described as being “among the most testing periods of my life”.

He was the second Bishop of Ebbsfleet to cross the Tiber, following in the footsteps of Mgr Andrew Burnham who resigned in 2010 to join other former Anglicans in the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham.

Fr Nazir-Ali, however, was the first former diocesan – as opposed to suffragan, area or “flying – Anglican bishop to be received into the Catholic Church since Bishop Graham Leonard of London and Bishop Richard Rutt of Leicester in 1994.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here