- 14 July 1976 (Creation)
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The Right Reverend Alan Charles Clark was born of convert parents in Bickley, Kent on 9th August 1919. When young he contracted polio and was taken to Lourdes. He made a recovery and set his sights on the priesthood. He studied at the Venerable English College in Rome and was ordained to the Priesthood for the Archdiocese of Southwark on 11 February 1945 (The Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes). He was involved in the Second Vatican Council as a peritus and was later to become the Vice-Rector of his old seminary in Rome. From there he would return to his Diocese of Southwark where he became Parish Priest of Our Lady Help of Christian, Blackheath, Kent before being selected as the new Auxiliary Bishop of Northampton with the Titular See of Elmham.
Bishop Clark was named the Co-chairman of ARCIC (Anglican/Roman Catholic International Commission). As the first bishop of the new diocese, he had to set up all the necessary instruments and commissions for the diocese. The diocesan offices and diocesan tribunal were at The White House in Poringland near Norwich. This estate had been given to the Diocese of Northampton by the Birkbeck Family. It was the residence of the retired Bishop of Northampton, The Rt Revd Leo Parker.
Bishop Clark continued in office until his seventy-fifth birthday made it mandatory for him to tender his resignation to the Holy See in 1994. This was accepted on 21st March, 1995 and at that point he became Bishop Emeritus. He retired to a house built in the grounds and died in the 16th July, 2002 at the age of eighty-two. He was buried near the Slipper Chapel in Walsingham, Norfolk.
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Every effort, long hours and many miles involved in finding bridges to attempt to persuade Fr Baker to enjoy the privacy of the Downham Market presbytery. Bishop has for many months been on TV and in print trying to explain what is at stake. "... not just a question of a liturgical rite; it is a refusal to accept the renewed mission of the Church ..."
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