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Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2494

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Bishop Brian Noble, Emeritus Bishop of Shrewsbury, dies in Wirral hospital at age of 83


The Rt Rev. Brian Noble, the 10th Bishop of Shrewsbury, has died peacefully at the age of 83 years.

The Emeritus Bishop was formerly a priest of the Diocese of Lancaster. He was ordained for the Diocese of Shrewsbury in 1995 and he retired in 2010, but continued to be active, giving talks and retreats and assisting in the parishes.

Bishop Noble died on the afternoon of Monday October 21 at Arrowe Park Hospital, the Wirral.

His successor, Bishop Mark Davies of Shrewsbury, has requested that the priests of the Diocese offer Mass for Bishop Noble, and also for the prayers of all the people of the Diocese.

The Rt Rev. Mark Davies, the Bishop of Shrewsbury, said: “The Shrewsbury Diocese shares a great sadness that Bishop Brian Noble, who was so much part of our lives as priest and bishop, has passed from this world.

“We will especially remember his example of perseverance through serious illness in his care of this Diocese with his unfailing dedication and good humour.

“Conscious of the immense responsibility given to a Bishop, I ask the prayers of all for the eternal and happy repose of his soul.”

Brian Noble was born in Lancaster, Lancashire, on 11th April 1936, the son of Thomas and Celia Noble. He was educated at the Cathedral Primary School, Lancaster, and the Catholic College, Preston, Lancashire.  He undertook his priestly training at Ushaw College, Durham, and was ordained to the priesthood at Lancaster Cathedral on 11th May 1960.

Father Noble was appointed assistant priest at St Ignatius’ Church in Preston between 1960 and 1968 after which he served at Our Lady and St Patrick’s, Maryport, Cumbria, between 1968 and 1972.  For the next eight years between 1972 and 1980, he served as chaplain at Lancaster University and priest-in-charge of St Joseph’s in Galgate.

From 1980 to 1987, Father Noble was on the staff at the Pontificio Collegio, Beda, Rome, where he taught Pastoral Studies and Liturgy.  On his return from Rome, he took up an appointment as Parish Priest at St Benedict’s Parish in Whitehaven, Cumbria.

As well as his parish duties, Father Noble’s appointments in the Diocese of Lancaster included the Diocesan Liturgical Commission, the Diocesan Clergy Senate, the Diocesan Youth Commission and the Diocesan Commission for Christian Unity. He was also chairman of the Diocesan Ecumenical Commission and the Diocesan Pastoral Council and vice-chairman of the Council of Priests and was elected a Chapter Canon in 1994.

On 30th August 1995 he was ordained to become the 10th Bishop of Shrewsbury in succession to Bishop Joseph Gray.  Bishop Noble served as Chair of the Pastoral Liturgy Commission, the Christian Initiation Working Party and the Spirituality Commission of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales and was also as a member of the Churches Together in England Enabling Group.

He retired on 1st October 2010 and was active as Emeritus Bishop in giving talks and retreats across the country, as well as assisting in the parishes of the Diocese.  He died at Arrowe Park Hospital, Birkenhead on 21st October 2019.


(Photo courtesy of Mazur/