Archbishop of Liverpool

On 27 February 2013 Archbishop Patrick Kelly's resignation as Archbishop of Liverpool and Metropolitan  was accepted by Pope Benedict XVI.  At this time he became Archbishop Emeritus of Liverpool and the Archdiocese became Sede Vacante (the Vacant See) until the appointment of a new Archbishop.

Bishop Thomas Williams, Auxiliary Bishop of Liverpool, was appointed by the Holy See to be Apostolic Administrator during the period Sede Vacante.

Apostolic Administrator

The Right Reverend Thomas Anthony Williams
Titular Bishop of Mageo

Born Liverpool 10 February 1948
Ordained Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King 27 May 1972
Ordained Auxiliary Bishop of Liverpool 27 May 2003
Appointed Apostolic Administrator 27 February 2013

14 Hope Place, Liverpool, L1 9BG
Tel: 0151 703 0109
Fax: 0151 703 0267


Thomas Williams was born on Shrove Tuesday, 10 February 1948, at 2A Ashfield Gardens (first landing, second house), Silvester Street, off Scotland Road, Liverpool. His father, Richard, was a bargee based in Stanley Dock, and the locks in Lightbody Street, who later advanced to become a Checker in Box 6, based in Gladstone and West Lancashire Docks between 1963 and 1975.  His mother, Margaret, was a school cleaner for Ashfield Street Primary and Archbishop Whiteside Schools.  Bishop Williams is the eldest of four children, sisters: Margaret and Marie and brother: Richard.

Bishop Williams was an altar server at St Sylvester’s and entered Junior Seminary, to train for the priesthood, at Christleton Hall, Chester, when he was 13 years old in 1961.  At the time Archbishop Heenan informed him that he was ‘a bit old!’  After five years of study there under the Headship of Father Tom Hennessy of the Salvatorian Fathers he went to the English College in Lisbon, Portugal, in September 1966 where he studied Philosophy and Theology until the closure of the College in 1971.  He completed his studies at St Joseph’s College, Upholland, the then major Seminary for the Archdiocese of Liverpool.

Thomas Williams was ordained Deacon on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, 8 December 1971, by Bishop Joseph Gray, then Auxiliary Bishop of Liverpool.  As Deacon he served for six months in the St Matthew’s area of Skelmersdale before he was ordained to the priesthood by Archbishop George Andrew Beck on 27 May 1972 in the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King, Liverpool.

His first appointment was to St Francis of Assisi, Garston in September 1972.  He remembers his work there well and says: ‘I will always look back on that parish as my first home as a priest, and my first love’.  A year later he took on the added responsibility of being Chaplain to Bellerive Grammar School, a post which he held for seven ‘happy’ years.

In January 1975 he was appointed to Sacred Heart Parish, Hall Lane, Liverpool where he served with Father Bernard Dickinson and Father Bernard Jackson.  The two assistant priests served as Chaplains to the Primary Schools and the Royal Liverpool Hospital or ‘Old Royal’. Bishop Tom says: ‘This was the beginning of nine years as Hospital Chaplain, at the Old Royal for four years and the New Royal for five, and the home of many fond and treasured memories’.

In 1983 Bishop Williams served at Our Lady of Walsingham parish in Netherton and undertook supply work at St Jude’s, Wigan and Holy Spirit, Netherton.  In 1984 he was asked by Bishop Kevin O’Connor to take responsibility for Our Lady Immaculate Parish in St Domingo Road. The ancient Chapel (designed by Pugin and the Lady Altar of the original Liverpool Catholic Cathedral planned in the nineteenth century) was condemned as unusable and Father Tom oversaw the conversion of the Parish Centre into a church which was opened by Archbishop Derek Worlock in 1986.  In 1989 he was appointed Parish Priest of St Anthony’s in Scotland Road, Liverpool and assumed additional responsibility for Our Lady Immaculate Parish in 1999.

During his ministry Bishop Williams has also been a member of the Archdiocesan Finance Advisory Committee (appointed 1977); Secretary and Treasurer of the Fund for retired and sick clergy (1993); a member of the Liverpool City Centre Ecumenical Team (1996) and a member of the Archdiocesan Building Projects Committee (1986). He has also been a Governor of Our Lady Immaculate Primary School (1984); a Governor of Mother Teresa Primary School (1989) and of Campion High School (1986 to 1999) being their Chair from 1989 to 1999.  He has been a member of FLAME for twenty-seven years travelling to Lourdes with children and young people with disabilities and has also worked with the St Anthony’s Lourdes Trust finding funding to train local teenagers to work with young people with disabilities in Lourdes.  He has also been Chair of Project Jennifer looking at the re-development of the Scotland Road and Great Homer Street district, since it began in 2002.

He is currently Chair of the Healthcare Reference Group of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales.

He was appointed Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Liverpool on 27 February 2013 following the retirement of Archbishop Patrick Kelly.

His hobbies include a weekly game of golf and he is a member of the Southport and Ainsdale Golf Club.  He enjoys horse racing and is a fanatic Evertonian and until the onset of regular Sunday and mid-week fixtures was a season ticket holder for many years.  He also says he ‘must’ have one week’s skiing per year! 

Archbishop Emeritus

The Most Reverend Patrick A Kelly KC*HS STL PhL
Born Morecambe, Lancashire 23 November 1938
Ordained at the English College, Rome on 18 February 1962
Ordained Bishop of Salford on 3 April 1984
Installed as Archbishop and Metropolitan 3 July 1996
Resigned due to ill health 27 February 2013

Archbishop's House
Lowood, Carnatic Road
L18 8BY
Tel: 0151 724 6398
Fax: 0151 724 6405

Patrick Kelly was born in Morecambe, Lancashire on 23 November 1938, the first son of John and Mary Kelly. His father, originally from Donegal, was a local dentist. The Archbishop attended St Mary's Primary School, Morecambe and Preston RC College before commencing studies for the priesthood in Rome in 1955. He was ordained by Cardinal William Godfrey at the English College, Rome on 18 February 1962. He remained in Rome for postgraduate studies until 1964.

On his return to England he was appointed as Assistant Priest at St Peter's Cathedral, Lancaster where he served for two years until his appointment as a lecturer in theology on the staff of St Mary's College, Oscott, Birmingham in 1966. He became Rector of Oscott in 1979 and continued in the post until his appointment as Bishop of Salford in 1984.

He was ordained as Bishop of Salford on 3 April 1984 and was translated to Liverpool on 21 May 1996; being installed as Archbishop of Liverpool on 3 July 1996. As a member of the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales he has chaired the Department for International Affairs where he has served as chair of the Committee for Environmental Justice. He has been the representative of the Bishops' Conference on the International Co-ordination of the Roman Catholic Church for the Holy Land and has also served on the Committee for International Justice and Peace. He is also a consultor to the Pontifical Commission for International Justice and Peace and in March this year Pope Benedict XVI appointed him as a member of the Pontifical Council for Inter Religious Dialogue. He has served on the Bishops’ Conference Committee for deaf people and has been President of the International Catholic Foundation at the service of deaf people. On an ecumenical level he is a former member of ARCIC (the Anglican Roman Catholic International Commission). From November 1999 to April 2009 he served as Vice-President of the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales.

On 3 April 2009 he celebrated his Episcopal Silver Jubilee and on 18 February 2012 the Golden Jubilee of his Ordination to the Priesthood.

After suffering a stroke on 10 December 2012 he offered his resignation to Pope Benedict XVI, it was accepted by the Holy Father on 27 February 2013 and Archbishop Kelly became Archbishop Emeritus of Liverpool.

In his spare time the Archbishop enjoys listening to classical music and attending concerts, especially those given by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.

He is the eighth Archbishop of Liverpool and is the first northern born man to be appointed to the position since Archbishop (later Cardinal) William Godfrey who was Archbishop of Liverpool from 1953 to 1957.