Bishop Howard Tripp of Southwark dies aged 95 after a long and fruitful life of service

Bishop Howard Tripp, who served as an Auxiliary Bishop for the Archdiocese of Southwark from 1980-2004, died aged 95 on Monday, 3rd October 2022.

Born in Croydon on 3rd July 1927 to journalist Basil Tripp, and Alice Emily, nee Haslett, a convert to Catholicism, Howard Tripp was the eldest of four children – two girls and two boys.

He was educated at St Anne’s Convent Kindergarten School, Sanderstead, and at the John Fisher School, Purley. He trained for the priesthood at St. John’s Seminary, Wonersh, and was ordained on 31 May 1953 at St. Gertrude’s Church, South Croydon, by Archbishop Cowderoy of Southwark.

His first appointment was at Blackheath before serving as assistant priest in Our Lady Queen of Peace, East Sheen from 1956-1962. He became parish priest there from 1965-1971. Aged 38, he was the youngest parish priest in the Southwark Diocese.

During his time at East Sheen, he was appointed Diocesan Convent Organiser (1958) and Assistant Diocesan Financial Secretary (1962). He held both posts until 1968.

From 1971-1980, he served as the Director of the Southwark Children’s Society.

On 30 January 1980 he was ordained Bishop of the titular see of Newport and Auxiliary Bishop of Southwark, and given special responsibility for an area loosely categorised as South West London – stretching from the Surrey Docks to Surbiton and from Southwark to Croydon.

He was Ecclesiastical Adviser to the Knights of St Columba from 1981 to 1991, was Chairman of the Committee for Public Life, President of the Catholic Child Welfare Council and represented the Catholic Church on the Churches’ Committee for Hospital Chaplaincy. He was also a member of the London Churches Group, a Director of the London Churches Employment Development Unit and represented the Archdiocese of Southwark among London Church Leaders.

Throughout his priesthood, Bishop Tripp was interested in social welfare and housing, serving as a founder member of the Richmond-upon-Thames Churches’ Housing Trust.

He was Ecclesiastical Adviser to the Catholic Union of Great Britain and, for a number of years, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Catholic Association Pilgrimage Trust.

Nationally, he was the Ecclesiastical Assistant to the Catholic Association for Racial Justice and, in the Archdiocese of Southwark, chaired the Diocesan Commission for Liturgy and co-ordinated the Ethnic Chaplains Group.

He served as an Auxiliary Bishop until his retirement on 7 January 2004.

Bishop Howard Tripp completed his long and fruitful earthly pilgrimage on Monday, 3rd October 2022.

May he rest in peace and rise in glory.