On Monday 28 November 2022, it was announced that His Holiness Pope Francis has appointed Monsignor Philip Moger as an Auxiliary Bishop for the Archdiocese of Southwark.
A priest of the Diocese of Leeds for 40 years, Bishop-elect Moger has, until now, been the Rector of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham in Norfolk.
Message from Archbishop John Wilson
On hearing news of the appointment Archbishop John Wilson, the Archbishop of Southwark, said:
“I am very grateful to His Holiness Pope Francis for appointing a new Auxiliary Bishop to the Archdiocese of Southwark. I offer to Bishop-elect Philip Moger the warmest of welcomes. He brings a vast array of experience to this new mission having serving the Church as a priest for forty years. I know he will be such a great blessing to the people and communities in our Archdiocese, bringing gifts of joy, encouragement and personal warmth. He is a man of faith and prayer who loves Christ, his Church and his people.
“I very much look forward to working with him as we continue to shape our missionary Archdiocese in the service of the Gospel. I know that Bishop-elect Moger will embody generosity and compassion as, together, we seek to make Christ known, loved and served. I ask everyone in our parish and school communities to pray for him as he prepares for this new mission among and with us.”
Message from Bishop-elect Philip Moger
Following the news of his appointment, Bishop Elect-Moger said:
“As well as being very surprised, I am humbled indeed by the Holy Father appointing me to be an Auxiliary Bishop of Southwark. I accept this calling with a glad and open heart. I shall, of course, be sorry to leave England’s National Shrine of Our Lady, in Walsingham, and my home Diocese of Leeds, but I look forward to moving even further south, getting to know the Archdiocese of Southwark and working with Archbishop John Wilson, Bishop Paul Hendricks, and the clergy, religious and lay faithful in South London and Kent.
“Throughout my priesthood, and the various missions entrusted to me, I have much to thank God for. In Walsingham, England’s Nazareth, I learned much from the many faith-filled pilgrims who sought to be wrapped in Our Lady’s mantle of prayer. I have much to learn once more, and I depend on Our Lady’s prayers and yours. Our Lady of Walsingham, pray for us.”
Message from Bishop Marcus Stock, Bishop of Leeds
On receiving the news of the appointment, Bishop Marcus said:
“I pray that Bishop-elect Philip Moger will bring to his new episcopal ministry all the wisdom and skills he has demonstrated over the last forty years of his priestly ministry here in his home diocese. In the parishes that he served and in the various ministries which he held, Bishop-elect Moger’s deep faith in Our Lord Jesus Christ and his personal warmth fostered strong bonds of ecclesial communion among the people he tended.
“He can be assured of the prayerful support of the clergy and lay faithful of the Diocese of Leeds for his future ministry as an Auxiliary Bishop in the Archdiocese of Southwark. May the intercession of Our Lady of Unfailing Help and the prayers of St Wilfrid continue to sustain him in the years ahead.”
The date for Bishop-elect Moger’s Episcopal Ordination is Tuesday, 21 February 2023 in St George’s Cathedral, Southwark.
Speaking to us shortly after a private Mass following the announcement, Monsignor Moger said:
“Firstly, it was a great surprise to be asked to be a bishop anywhere. That was the first thing. It’s a very humbling experience because to become a bishop is a great thing. It’s a huge responsibility, to know that I was being appointed to Southwark as an auxiliary.”
The bishop-elect discussed his long-term friendship with Archbishop John Wilson:
“Archbishop John Wilson was a delight, because we have known each other for a long time. I’ve known him since before he went to seminary. We are both from the Diocese of Leeds – that’s two of us in Southwark from Leeds.
“It’s a very humbling experience to be asked, and also very joyful. For the last two years I’ve been working in Walsingham as Rector of the National Shrine. So I’d already moved temporarily away from Yorkshire. You know, people are the same everywhere. The Gospel needs to be preached.”
Monsignor Moger finished with a message to the people of the Archdiocese of Southwark, noting the diversity and vibrancy within the archdiocese.
The Bishop-elect said:
“The message is that Christ came for all people – that the Church is truly Catholic. When all of us come together, whatever our age, whatever our background, whatever our skills, whatever our abilities, it is important we share those gifts to build up God’s kingdom and build up each other as members of Christ’s Church, the Christian community.”
Brief Biography of Bishop-elect Philip Moger
Born in 1955, Bishop-elect Philip Moger grew up in Halifax, Yorkshire. His mother died when he was five and he was raised by his grandmother and father. He began his working life in banking and then entered St Cuthbert’s Seminary at Ushaw in County Durham to begin studies for the priesthood.
He was ordained for the Diocese of Leeds in 1982 and was appointed an assistant priest at St Urban’s, Headingley, also serving as a chaplain to the local school, a Sue Ryder home and a hospital for people with learning difficulties. In 1985 he was appointed to the Diocesan Pastoral Centre in Ilkley to serve the renewal of parishes and schools.
In 1992 he was appointed an assistant at Leeds Cathedral and was also appointed as Vocations Director. He served as Bishops’ Secretary and as a Parish Priest in parishes in Bradford and Leeds.
In 2008, he returned to Leeds Cathedral as Dean. He was appointed a Prelate of Honour, with the title Monsignor, and subsequently a Canon of the Cathedral Chapter. He chaired the Diocese of Leeds Liturgical Commission, was Director of Liturgy of the Diocese of Leeds Lourdes Pilgrimage and was also responsible for the liturgies during the Papal Visit of Pope Benedict XVI to Great Britain in 2010.
In September 2020 he took up the appointment as the Rector of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham in Norfolk.