Archbishop Malcolm McMahon in his own words

Archbishop Malcolm McMahon: in his own words

When the announcement of Archbishop Malcolm McMahon’s appointment was made, many turned to the internet and the media to learn more about the man. Many were impressed to learn that he had studied Philosophy at Oxford as well as Mechanical Engineering in Manchester. However, in the many media interviews he did, the 64-year-old also gave an insight into his character and what we can expect from his ministry.

On his appointment:
“I’m very pleased to be called to serve in Liverpool. I felt that the Lord was moving me on to a new corner of his vineyard. I thought that I would see my silver jubilee of Ordination as a Bishop on the banks of the Trent; now I am being asked to live my Christian vocation on the banks of the Mersey. I promise to do my best to repay the trust that Pope Francis has placed in me, and which the priests and people of the Archdiocese of Liverpool are being asked to put in me.”

On the challenges:
“We need to preach the gospel so that it appears relevant to people in their particular situations so they see the face of Christ on the people around them. There’s a very big disconnect for some people. We have to try to work out why the handing on of the Christian faith from generation to generation is breaking down and I think it’s to do with the nature and structure of family life. We need to look at what children and young adults learn and experience in Catholic schools and why it isn’t transferable to their home and everyday life. It’s those connections which we have to re-establish.”

On his mission:
"I want to go out to the poor and those who don't know Christ. I want to try to help those who are sad to be happy. I want to try to get justice back into everyday situations in our lives. I want those who are feeling lost or disorientated to regain their purity of heart. It's about growing together in faith. These things are highly connected and it's something which I think the Church can make a big contribution to. So my priorities are basically the Beatitudes.”

On his personality:
“I can be a bit grumpy sometimes, but most of the time I’m not, I’m fairly happy sort of guy. My hobbies are few, because I don’t have much time, but I enjoy golf, reading and listening to music. I do like to go out to concerts, particularly orchestral and chamber concerts. It’s a wonderful way of relaxing, particularly for me – as I’m not terribly musical and learning to appreciate music has been quite an interesting development in my life. I also like to wander about town and pop into cafés, have a coffee and chat to people. I’m that sort of person, I don’t like to be isolated and cut off from people.”

On football:
“I am aware as an Arsenal supporter that football matters up here – Cardinal Nichols, down in London, supports Liverpool, so it’s a fair swap!  My brothers are season ticket holders at the Emirates and they keep me fully up to date on the ins and outs of Arsenal. Football is really important to people as it acts as a focus for our enthusiasm and our energy – and the sport provides that. It provides continuity over generations and gives us all a great sense of belonging. It’s not that much different from the Church in that respect!”