Bishop William B. Ullathorne 

Born 1806 in Yorkshire, William Bernard Ullathorne became a Benedictine of Downside and was ordained priest in 1831. Two years later, he went to Australia. On his return to England in 1841, he served in Coventry and was consecrated Vicar-Apostolic of the Western District in 1847. The following year he was transferred to the Central District, and in 1850, he became first Bishop of Birmingham. On the restoration of the hierarchy, Bishop Ullathorne was appointed Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Nottingham for the first nine months of its existence. He died in 1889.


Bishop Joseph W. Hendren

Joseph William Hendren was born in Birmingham in 1791 and entered the Franciscan Order in 1806. He was ordained priest on 28 September 1815 by Bishop Milner. He taught in various Franciscan houses, and worked in Abergavenny for thirteen years. He was confessor and spiritual director to the Franciscan Sisters at Taunton, Somerset. In 1848 he succeeded Bishop Ullathorne as Vicar Apostolic of the Western District and became the first Bishop of Clifton in 1850. The following year he was appointed Bishop of Nottingham on 22 June 1851 and enthroned in the Cathedral Church of St Barnabas on 2 December 1851.

The new diocese was a great challenge for its first bishop, who was already unwell, and Bishop Hendren was soon to retire on health grounds. He established the Cathedral Chapter on 2 July 1852 and began to organise the diocese, despite the shortage of priests and the large area to cover. He attended the first meeting of the Hierarchy at Oscott College in July 1852, when Fr John Henry Newman preached his memorable 'Second Spring' sermon. In August 1852 Bishop Hendren decided that the challenge of the diocese was too formidable for his years and illness and submitted his resignation. This was accepted 23 February 1853.

Bishop Hendren was appointed Titular Bishop of Martyropolis in May 1853 and left Nottingham for Birmingham and eventually Taunton where he died on 14 November 1866. He was buried initially in the grounds of the Franciscan Convent, Taunton. In October 1997, his remains were transferred to the grounds of St. George’s Catholic Church, Taunton.


Bishop Richard Roskell

Richard Roskell was born in Gateacre, Liverpool, on 15 August 1817 and educated at Ushaw and the Venerable English College in Rome. After ordination he served at St Patrick's, Manchester, becoming Provost of the Salford Chapter and Vicar General of the Salford Diocese. On 29 July 1853 Provost Roskell was appointed the second Bishop of Nottingham and was consecrated by Cardinal Wiseman on 21 September 1853 in St. Barnabas’ Cathedral.

During the next twenty-one years the diocese expanded slowly but surely, as the bishop set up parishes and Mass centres with the help of religious orders and the expanding numbers of secular clergy in the diocese.

Bishop Roskell attended the First Vatican Council (1869-1870), although he was suffering from cataracts in both eyes which made it impossible for him to read. In 1873 Bishop Roskell offered his resignation as Bishop, but the Pope persuaded him to remain with the promise of a Coadjutor Bishop. After Fr Bagshawe had been appointed in 1874, Bishop Roskell offered to resign once more, and this time it was accepted. He retired as Titular Bishop of Abdera to Glascoed in North Wales, and later to the Vale of Whitewell. He died on 27 January 1883 and was buried in the churchyard of St Hubert's, Dunsop Bridge.


Bishop Edward G. Bagshawe

Edward Gilpin Bagshawe was born 12 January 1829 and educated at Oscott. He went to London University intending to study for the Bar, but in 1849 entered Brompton Oratory and was ordained priest in 1852. He was appointed third Bishop of Nottingham on 1 October 1874 and consecrated on 12 November that year by Archbishop Manning.

Bishop Bagshawe continued the work of his predecessor and all areas of the diocese benefited from his attention. Numerous houses of religious women were founded, including Nazareth House Nottingham, and two congregations were founded, viz., the Little Company of Mary and the Sisters of St Joseph of Peace. Bishop Bagshawe also established a major seminary next to the Cathedral in 1883; this continued until 1902.

In 1901 Bishop Bagshawe's health was failing, and while in Rome in May that year he was encouraged to offer his resignation. As Titular Bishop of Hypoepa, Bishop Bagshawe went to live in the Blue Nuns' House at Hounslow. In 1904 he was named Titular Archbishop of Seleucia. He died in Hounslow 6 February 1915 at Isleworth. Some years later, Bishop Dunn decided to bury his predecessors in the cathedral crypt, and Archbishop Bagshawe's body was laid to rest there on 16 December 1921.


Bishop Robert Brindle, DSO

Robert Brindle was born in Liverpool on 4 November 1837 and educated at Lisbon for the Diocese of Plymouth and was ordained in 1862. He worked first at the Cathedral in Plymouth and in 1874 became a chaplain to the Forces, stationed at Woolwich, Aldershot and Halifax (Nova Scotia). He went to the Egyptian War in 1882 where he was awarded the DSO for his conduct. On his return to England, Fr Brindle was nominated Auxiliary Bishop in Westminster and consecrated as Titular Bishop of Hermopolison 12 March 1899. Bishop Brindle succeeded Bishop Bagshawe as the fourth Bishop of Nottingham on 6 December 1901 and was enthroned in the Cathedral on 2 January 1902. His time as bishop was marked by steady consolidation on the work of his three predecessors.

By 1913 the bishop's health was failing and he offered his resignation, which was accepted 1 June 1915, when he was appointed Titular Bishop of Tacape. Bishop Brindle spent the last weeks of his life at Mount St Mary's College, Spinkhill,where he died on 27 June 1916. After his funeral in the Cathedral, his body was buried in the cathedral crypt.


Bishop Thomas Dunn

Thomas Dunn was born 25 July 1870 in London and educated in Beaumont College, Hammersmith Seminary, and, in Rome, at the Academia dei nobili ecclesiastici. He was ordained a priest 2 February 1892 and appointed secretary to Cardinal Vaughan 1893-1903. In 1902 he was appointed a canon, and in 1906 he was put in charge of the Mission at Staines.Canon Dunn was appointed fifth Bishop of Nottingham in 1915 and consecrated by Cardinal Bourne at Westminster on 25 February 1916. He came to Nottingham on 20 March 1916. Bishop Dunn found a rapidly growing diocese and encouraged church building on an unprecedented scale. The work of religious orders was given fresh impetus – for example, the Assumptionists who opened the Becket School in 1931; and new parishes were established all over the diocese. Bishop Dunn paid particular attention to his Cathedral, seeking to “restore all things in Pugin,” and made efforts to restore Gregorian Chant (Plainsong) to the Cathedral's Sacred Liturgy, after the inspiration of Pope St Pius X (1903-1914). During Bishop Dunn's time in Nottingham, there was a notable increase in vocations and thirty-four priests were ordained for the diocese.

Early in autumn 1931, Bishop Dunn's health began to deteriorate and he died 21 September 1931 and was buried in the cathedral crypt.


Bishop John F. McNulty

John Francis McNulty was born in Manchester in 1879 and educated in St Bede's before entering a local shipping office as a clerk. He began his studies for the priesthood at Douai, and in 1901 moved to Ushaw. He was ordained priest in 1911. Following ordination, Fr McNulty returned to St Bede's College as College Prefect and remained in that post until 1921 when he was appointed Master of St Edmund's House, Cambridge.In 1930, Fr McNulty was recalled to the Salford Diocese to take up the post of Parish Priest at St Anne's Church, Ancoats.

In 1932, he was appointed sixth Bishop of Nottingham and was consecrated on 11 June of that year. His eleven years as bishop might be singled out for the vigorous activity of the laity in the diocese. Pope Pius XI (1922-39) had frequently emphasised the need for a generous lay apostolate, and Bishop McNulty fostered this in his people. The later part of his episcopate was darkened by the Second World War, but this brought fresh impetus to the growth of the diocese by the arrival of many refugee Catholics from various parts of Europe. The clergy of the diocese increased in numbers; in Bishop McNulty's eleven years sixty priests were ordained.

During the reign of Bishop McNulty one local change in the administration of the Diocese, thought of by Bishop Dunn, but brought about by Bishop McNulty, was the establishing of a separate residence for the bishop. Until 1933 the Bishops of Nottingham had lived at Cathedral House, but then Bishop McNulty leased a house in The Park, five minutes' walk from the Cathedral, where succeeding Bishops of Nottingham continue to live.

Just four years after his appointment, Bishop McNulty suffered the first symptoms of the illness that would prove fatal. On 9 December 1942, he suffered a serious haemorrhage and spent six months in nursing care before a serious operation on 6 June 1943. He died two days later and was buried in the cathedral crypt.


Bishop Edward Ellis

Edward Ellis was born in Radford, Nottingham on 30 June 1899 and educated at St Mary's School next to the Cathedral and Ratcliffe College, Leicestershire. He went to the Venerable English College in Rome in 1916 and was ordained priest 15 October 1922 in St.Barnabas’ Cathedral by Bishop Dunn. He was curate at Hadfield and then at St Augustine's, Nottingham before becoming Cathedral Administrator in 1930. He was appointed Parish Priest of Hadfield in 1933 and returned to the Cathedral as Administrator in 1939. 

Following the death of Bishop McNulty, Fr Ellis was appointed seventh Bishop of Nottingham on 25 March 1944 and consecrated by Archbishop Godfrey on 1 May 1944. With the appointment of Bishop Ellis, the Diocese of Nottingham produced its first native bishop. Bishop Ellis' episcopate of 30 years was marked by tremendous growth and a rise in the Catholic population from 67,715 in 1944 to 150,812 in 1974. Forty new parishes were established and sixty-four new churches were built. Bishop Ellis's special interest in education was shown by his now-famous remark: "I would rather open a school than a church anyday". During his episcopate, the number of schools in the Diocese of Nottingham rose from 69 to 116.

Other great initiatives from Bishop Ellis' time as bishop include the foundation of the Catholic Children's Society and a junior Seminary at Tollerton, named St Hugh's College, like its predecessor of the previous century. The Briars Residential Centre for young people was begun in 1970 and continues to this day serving young people in the diocese and beyond. 

Bishop Ellis attended the Second Vatican Council (1962-65) and oversaw the implementation of the decrees of the Council, especially the reforms of the Sacred Liturgy. Bishop Ellis suffered some ill health during his life and in 1972 was able to consecrate Monsignor James McGuinness as Coadjutor Bishop with right of succession. Bishop Ellis retired 31 October 1974 and became chaplain to Nazareth House, Nottingham, although he continued to play an active part in the life of the diocese.

In 1976 the City of Nottingham granted him the Freedom of the City in recognition of his contribution to the life of the city. In 1979, just before his eightieth birthday, Bishop Ellis suffered a serious recurrence of his illness and died on 6 July 1979. He was buried in the cathedral crypt.


Bishop James J. McGuinness

James Joseph McGuinness was born 2 October 1925 in Derry, Northern Ireland. He was educated at St Columb's,Derry, and went to seminary in St Patrick's, Carlow and St Mary's, Oscott. He was ordained by Bishop Ellis with Fr David Ryan in the St. Barnabas’ Cathedral on 3 June 1950. He was curate at St Mary's, Derby, for three years before being appointed Bishop's Secretary, also for three years, after which he became the first Parish Priest of the new parish of Corpus Christi, Clifton. In 1969 Fr McGuinness was appointed Vicar General to assist Monsignor E H Atkinson, with responsibility for Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire, and on 2 February 1972,Monsignor McGuinness was nominated Coadjutor Bishop with right of succession.He was ordained bishop by Bishop Ellis on 23 March 1972 with the title of St Germains and was based in Mother of God Parish, Leicester, for the next two and a half years. 

Upon the retirement of Bishop Ellis on 31 October 1974, Bishop McGuinness became Bishop of Nottingham. Immediately he set about building on the work started by his predecessor. He established a Council of Priests and built up the role of Dean. In the 1990s the structure of the Deaneries was changed to be more supportive of priests and parishes. 

The lay apostolate saw great advances, and the role of Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist blossomed from 1978. Lay involvement was at the heart of the many diocesan commissions and other bodies which grew to help Bishop McGuinness carefor his diocese. Bishop McGuinness was Chairman of the National Youth Conference in his early years at the Bishops' Conference and played a great part in the visit of Pope John Paul II to Great Britain in 1982. The Diocese of Hallam was established in 1980 and the Diocese of Nottingham contributed sixteen parishes in north Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire to the new diocese. In 1986 the decision was taken to close St Hugh's College, grateful for the many priests of Nottingham Diocese and beyond who had been educated there. Some years before in 1981, Rev Peter Skoyles was ordained Deacon by Bishop McGuinness, the first of many men to be ordained for this ministry in the Diocese of Nottingham. 

In 1997 the diocese gathered in the Cathedral to celebrate the silver jubilee of Bishop McGuinness's episcopal ordination, in the presence of Cardinals Hume,Daly and Winning, the Papal Nuncio, Archbishop Barbarito, and many other bishops,with members of the bishop’s family and friends from far and wide. Later in the year, Bishop McGuinness had to undergo serious heart surgery and spent some months convalescing. He continued working until his seventy-fifth birthday,celebrating the golden jubilee of his priestly ordination in June 2000.

On his birthday, Bishop McGuinness offered his resignation to the Holy Father, and this was accepted shortly after with the announcement of the appointment of his successor. On 8 December 2000, Bishop McGuinness ordained Fr Malcolm McMahon OPas the ninth Bishop of Nottingham. Bishop McGuinness retired to Nazareth House,Nottingham, and then just over a year later he moved to St Mary’s Nursing Home at Ednaston, where he died on Good Friday, 6 April 2007. He was buried in the cathedral crypt.

2000 - 2014

Bishop Malcolm McMahon OP

Malcolm Patrick McMahon was born in London on 14 June 1949 and educated at St Dominic's Primary School. He moved to St Aloysius College, Highgate before he studied Mechanical Engineering at the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST). After graduating he worked for the Daimler Motor Company in Coventry and then for London Transport. 

In 1976 Malcolm McMahon joined the Dominican Order, beginning his Novitiate and Philosophical Studies at Blackfriars, Oxford, before being professed in December 1977. He began his studies in Theology at Heythrop College in 1979 and was ordained priest in 1982. He continued his studies at Heythrop and Blackfriars after ordination and was appointed Chaplain to the students at Leicester Polytechnic in 1984-5. From 1985 to 1989 Fr Malcolm was a curate in London until his appointment as Parish Priest of St Dominic's, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. In 1989 Fr Malcolm was appointed Parish Priest of St Dominic's, Haverstock Hill, London. Three years later, the members of the English Province of Dominicans elected Fr Malcolm as their Prior Provincial andre-elected him in 1996. Early in 2000, Fr Malcolm was appointed Prior of Blackfriars in Oxford at the end of his second term as Prior Provincial.

On7 November 2000, Fr Malcolm McMahon OP was appointed ninth Bishop of Nottingham and was ordained Bishop by Bishop McGuinness in St. Barnabas’ Cathedral on 8 December 2000. Bishop Malcolm was translated to Liverpool as its ninth Archbishop and was installed in the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King on 1 May 2014.


Bishop Patrick McKinney

Patrick Joseph McKinney was born in Birmingham on 30 April 1954, the eldest son of Patrick and Bridget McKinney, originally from Ireland. His family moved to Buncrana, County Donegal, Ireland, when he was still very young, but eventually returned to Birmingham.

Patrick began his studies for the priesthood at St Mary’s College, Oscott, in 1972, and was ordained to the priesthood on 29 July 1978 in St Mary’s Church, Buncrana.

After his Ordination, Father McKinney was appointed assistant priest in the parish of Our Lady of Lourdes, Yardley Wood, Birmingham, and chaplain to St Thomas Aquinas Secondary School, Kings Norton, Birmingham. Between 1982 and 1984, he was a student at the Pontifical Gregorian University, where he gained a Licentiate in Sacred Theology.

Returning from Rome to the Archdiocese of Birmingham, he taught fundamental theology inSt Mary’s College, Oscott, until 1989, when he was appointed Rector, a post he held for nine years, during which period he was also a lecturer in ecclesiology. He was made a Prelate of Honour in 1990 and a member of the Metropolitan Chapter of St Chad in 1992.

Monsignor McKinney left Oscott in 1998, becoming Parish Priest of St John, Great Haywood,and Episcopal Vicar for the north of the Archdiocese of Birmingham. He left St.John’s in 2001, remaining as Episcopal Vicar until 2006, when he was appointed Parish Priest of Our Lady and All Saints, Stourbridge, and Dean of the Dudley Deanery. He also served for a time as Chair of the Birmingham ArchdiocesanEcumenical Commission.MonsignorMcKinney was appointed tenth Bishop of Nottingham on 14 May 2015. He was ordained bishop by Cardinal Vincent Nichols in St Barnabas’ Cathedral on 3 July 2015. 

God Is Love