The Diocese of Essex was formed on 22 March 1917 by the division of the Archdiocese of Westminster, and the Diocese of Brentwood was erected by the Bull Universalis Ecclesiae Procuratio on 20 July 1917. The Diocese consists of the geographical County of Essex comprising the London Boroughs of Barking & Dagenham, Havering, Newham, Redbridge and Waltham Forest, the Unitary Authorities of Southend-on-Sea and Thurrock and the Administrative County of Essex.

The Diocese is under the Patronage of Our Lady of Lourdes (11 February), St Edmund of Canterbury (16 November), St Erconwald (13 May) and St Cedd (26 October).

The Diocese is twinned with the Diocese of Dundee in Natal, South Africa



I Bernard Nicholas Ward: born at Old Hall Green, Hertfordshire, 4 February 1857; ordained priest, 8 October 1882; appointed Apostolic Administrator of Essex, 22 March 1917; consecrated titular Bishop of Lydda by Cardinal Bourne, 10 April 1917; translated to Brentwood on erection of the see, 20 July 1917; died 21 January 1920; buried at St Edmund’s College, Ware.


II Arthur Doubleday: born in Pietermaritzburg, Natal, 16 October 1865; ordained priest, 22 December 1888; consecrated by Bishop Amigo, 23 June 1920; died 23 January 1951; buried in Brentwood Cathedral Cemetery.


III George Andrew Beck, AA: born at Streatham, London, 28 May 1904; ordained priest, 24 July 1927; appointed Coadjutor with right of succession to Bishop Doubleday, 7 August 1948; consecrated titular Bishop of Tigia by Cardinal Griffin, 21 September 1948; succeeded 23 January 1951; translated to Salford, 28 November 1955; translated to Liverpool, 29 January  1964; resigned 7 February 1976; died 13 September 1978; buried in Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral.


IV Bernard Patrick Wall: born at Tonbridge, Kent, 15 March 1894; ordained priest 14 July 1918; appointed Bishop of Brentwood, 30 November 1955, consecrated by Bishop Cowderoy, 18 January 1956; resigned and appointed titular Bishop of Othona, 14 April 1969; died 18 June 1976; buried at St John’s Seminary, Wonersh.


V Patrick Joseph Casey: born in London, 20 November 1913; ordained priest 3 June 1939; consecrated titular Bishop of Sufar and Auxiliary of Westminster by Cardinal Heenan, 2 February 1966; translated to Brentwood, 28 November 1969 and installed 2 February 1970; resigned 11 December 1979; parish priest of Holy Redeemer & St Thomas More, Chelsea, September 1980; resigned 25 September 1989; died 26 January 1999; buried in Brentwood Cathedral Cemetery.


VI Thomas McMahon: born in Dorking, Surrey, 17 June 1936; ordained priest 28 November 1959; appointed Bishop of Brentwood 17 June 1980 and ordained by Cardinal Hume 17 July 1980; resigned 14 April 2014. Continues as Parish Priest of Our Lady & St Joseph, Stock.


VII Alan Williams, SM, MA, PhD: born in Oldham, Lancashire, 15 March 1951; ordained priest of the Society of Mary, 30 April 1983; appointed Bishop of Brentwood 14 April 2014 and ordained bishop by Cardinal Nichols, 1 July 2014.