Ambrose Griffiths

The Right Reverend
Ambrose Griffiths,
Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle
Province Liverpool
Diocese Hexham and Newcastle
Installed 1992
Term ended 2004
Predecessor Hugh Lindsay
Successor Kevin John Dunn
Other posts Bishop Emeritus of Hexham and Newcastle (2004–2011)
Ordination 21 July 1957 (Priest)
Consecration 20 March 1992 (Bishop)
Personal details
Birth name Michael Griffiths
Born (1928-12-04)4 December 1928
Twickenham, Middlesex (now Greater London), England
Died 14 June 2011(2011-06-14) (aged 82)
Nationality British
Denomination Roman Catholic Church
Previous post Abbot of Saint Lawrence's Abbey, Ampleforth 1976–1984

Dom Ambrose Griffiths OSB KC*HS (4 December 1928 – 14 June 2011) was a Benedictine abbot before becoming a Roman Catholic bishop in the Catholic Church in England and Wales.[1]


Born Michael Griffiths in Twickenham, Middlesex, and educated at Ampleforth College, near York, and at Balliol College, Oxford, he entered the monastery at Ampleforth, taking the religious name of Ambrose, and was ordained to the priesthood on 21 July 1957. In 1976, following the appointment of Abbot Basil Hume as Archbishop of Westminster, Dom Ambrose was elected Abbot of Ampleforth, a post he held until 1984 when he became Parish Priest of Leyland, Preston, Lancashire (Archdiocese of Liverpool), when he received the title of Abbot of Westminster.

In 1991 Bishop Hugh Lindsay announced his intention to resign the See of Hexham and Newcastle on the grounds of ill health. His resignation was accepted by Pope John Paul II, who in turn appointed Abbot Ambrose Griffiths as eleventh Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle. He received episcopal consecration in St. Mary's Cathedral, Newcastle upon Tyne, on 20 March 1992, the feast of Saint Cuthbert, co-patron of the diocese. The principal consecrator was Archbishop Derek Worlock of Liverpool, who was assisted by retiring Bishop Bishop Hugh Lindsay and Bishop Owen Swindlehurst, Auxiliary Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle and titular Bishop of Cuncacestre.

Auxiliary Bishop Swindlehurst died on 28 August 1995 and was not replaced, leaving Bishop Griffiths to administer the diocese without the assistance of any auxiliary. He implemented a number of changes to the structure of the diocese in order to ease transition to a new model of administration, and these measures included appointing new vicars general to assist the bishop. Throughout his tenure, Bishop Griffiths worked closely with young people, establishing a Youth Mission Team in the diocese and representing young Catholics in the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales.

He served as leader of the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle for twelve years. When he reached the age limit for bishops of 75 years, prescribed in the Code of Canon Law for the Latin Rite branch of the Catholic Church, he submitted his resignation to John Paul II. His resignation was accepted and he retired on 25 May 2004, the memorial of Saint Bede, the Venerable. On the same day, he presided at the consecration of Kevin Dunn, who succeeded him. After retiring, he moved to St Mary's parish in Leyland, Preston, Lancashire and continued in his work as a member of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales.

Following a serious illness, due to acute leukaemia, he died, aged, 82, at Saint Mary's, during the afternoon of 14 June 2011. He is buried at Ampleforth Abbey.


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Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Basil Hume
Abbot of Ampleforth
Succeeded by
Patrick Barry
Preceded by
Hugh Lindsay
Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle
Succeeded by
Kevin John Dunn
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