Every diocese is lead by a Bishop. Our Bishop is supported and advised in his leadership of the diocese by a number of different groups of clergy and lay people. You can find out about each of these groups below:
The Bishop's Council
The Bishop's Council are the senior clergy (the Vicars General and Episcopal Vicars) appointed by the Bishop to oversee certain aspects of the life and work of the Diocese. They meet regularly to advise the Bishop.
The Right Reverend Philip Egan
Bishop of Portsmouth
The Bishop is the 'Chief Shepherd' of the diocese: he is appointed to govern, teach, and guide the priests and people of the diocese.
Reverend Canon Michael Dennehy VG
Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia
Canon Michael Dennehy, who is Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia is Parish Priest of the Parish of the English Martyrs in Reading. He was ordained in 1990 and served as assistant priest at St. John’s Cathedral and Parish Priest of the Parish of St. Swithun Wells. He has been a Trustee since 2013.
Reverend Canon Paul Townsend VG
Vicar General and Vicar for Clergy
Fr. Paul Townsend is Parish Priest of Ringwood and Fordingbridge, Vicar General and Head of the Department for Clergy. Before ordination his professional background was as a teacher. He is a Canon of Portsmouth Cathedral and an honorary Canon of Winchester Cathedral. He is in his 36th year of ordained ministry and has exercised Diocesan responsibility for 30 of those. He has served in 8 parishes and has been a Trustee since 2014.
Reverend Fr Mark Hogan
Episcopal Vicar for Evangelisation
Fr Mark is in charge of the Department for Evangelisation: responsible for the outreach work of the diocese. He is Parish Priest for the Parish of St Peter and the Winchester Martyrs in Winchester. He is also a Trustee.
Reverend Canon PJ Smith
Episcopal Vicar for Education
Canon PJ is in charge of the Department for Education: responsible for our Catholic Schools. He is also the Dean of the Cathedral and Parish Priest for Portsmouth. He is also a Trustee.
Reverend Fr Robert Stewart
Episcopal Vicar for Vocations
Fr Rob is the Episcopal Vicar for Vocations. He is responsible for the Priestly and Permanent Diaconate vocations teams. He is Parish Priest of Park Gate parish and is also a Trustee.
The Senior Staff of the Diocesan Curia are lay men and women who, supervised by the Moderator of the Curia, manage the 'Department for Administration' which carries out the vital administrative work of the Diocese.
Chief Operating Officer and Diocesan Oeconomus
The Chief Operating Officer manages the work of the Diocesan Curia and Framework teams. She has overall responsibility for the administrative and financial operations of the Diocese. As Oeconomus, she is responsible for administering the temporal goods of the Diocese on behalf of the Bishop. The COO attends meetings of the Trustees.
Mark Van Wijk
Director of Finance
The Director of Finance manages the Diocesan finance and IT services teams. He also attends meetings of the Trustees.
Director of Communications and Fundraising
The Director of Communications and Fundraising is responsible for internal and external communications, and for oversight of all Diocesan fundraising.
Director of Estates
The Director of Estates is responsible for the property of the diocese (the Church buildings, presbyteries, and other buildings) and for health and safety policy and operations.
Director of Education
The Director of Education is responsible for overseeing all of our Catholic Primary and Secondary Schools. She heads our Catholic Academies and Schools Office.
Head of Safeguarding
The Head of Safeguarding is responsible for the Safeguarding of children and vulnerable people in our diocese. She is the first point of contact for any safeguarding concerns and queries.
Head of People and Governance
The Head of People and Governance is responsible for ensuring the Diocese is compliant with all relevant regulation and legislation and that the Board of Trustees are fully briefed on HR policy and operational matters and governance and compliance matters.
The Diocese of Portsmouth is a Registered Charity with the Charity Commission of England and Wales. As such, we are required by law to have a group of Trustees who support the Bishop by overseeing the charitable work of the diocese. Alongside the members of the Bishop's Council, the trustees are chosen for their expertise in various fields and their dedication to the Catholic Mission of the Diocese.
Rev. Mr Gerard Dailly
Deacon Gerard Dailly has been a Trustee since 2015 and is a member of the Senior Leadership Team at The Parish of St Peter and the Winchester Martyrs.
Mike Elks has been a Trustee since 2017. He attends The Parish of St Peter and the Winchester Martyrs, and is a member of the Senior Leadership and the Finance & Property Advisory Committee Teams in the Parish. Mike’s professional background is in project management in the civil engineering and building industries. He worked for Taylor Woodrow both overseas and in the UK for 40 years prior to retirement.
Martin McCloskey, who is a parishioner of Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Hungerford, has been a Trustee since 2016. Martin is currently working as a civil and commercial mediator and as a company secretary after having been group legal counsel for a UK FTSE top 50 group of companies.
Dr Anthony Murphy
Tony Murphy Ph.D. has been a Trustee since 2016 and is a parishioner at the Church of
St Thomas More in Hartley Wintney. Tony is a clinical psychologist and was an academic
at the University of Bath before working for a U.S. pharmaceutical company for almost 30 years. He retired as the Senior Vice President of Human Resources in 2009. Since then, he has held both non-executive and trustee roles in the private and charity sectors.
Sue Masser became a Trustee in 2016. Her parish is St Peter and the Winchester Martyrs and Sue has lived and worshipped in the Winchester area for over 35 years. Recently retired, Sue qualified as an architect in 1984 and has worked for both local authorities and in her own practice.
Bernard Davis became a Trustee in 2019 and has been a member of the Sacred Heart Parish in Fareham for over 30 years. After a naval career and with a background in law, Bernard became a Principal Lecturer at Portsmouth University, strengthening his links with a city where he worked for many years.
Rev. Canon Simon Thomson
The Judicial Vicar advises the Bishop on matters of Canon Law, and exercises the Bishop's judicial power on canonical matters. Canon Simon is also a Trustee.
The Safeguarding of Children and Vulnerable adults is an important priority for us. The role of our diocesan safeguarding commission is to ensure that we promote a culture of Safeguarding and to oversee and scrutinise our ongoing work in this important field.
Dr Rich John (Chair)
Dr Sarah Schofield
Dr Sarah Schofield joined the Safeguarding Commission in August 2020. She is a qualified Medical Doctor working in General Practice, and is the current Chairman of NHS West Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Group; the largest CCG in Hampshire, with responsibility for commissioning health and care services for a population of over 500,000 people. She is a member of the Parish of the Immaculate Conception in Portswood (Southampton).
Anna is an educational psychologist with 25 years of experience working with children, young people and their families in schools and various other multidisciplinary settings. She has worked for Essex County Council, the London Borough of Havering, and currently works for the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, where she lives with her husband Mark and their daughter. He professional interests include; early years children and attachment, parents and parenting, reflective supervision and coaching, trauma and post traumatic growth, and child sexual exploitation and complex case work. She is actively involved in her local parish as a Foundation Governor for St Edmund Campion Primary School, and as a Catechist in the Parish of St Edmund Campion in Maidenhead.
Jaq joined the Safeguarding Commission in September 2020. She has spent 30 years as an investigator, the last 25 of which were with Hampshire Constabulary in the Safeguarding arena. She specialises in Public Protection and Safeguarding and has worked in this area for most of her career, as part of both lead and supporting agencies.
Fr John Lee
Fr John Lee is the current Chair of the Diocesan Council of Priests, a member of the College of Consultors, and the Clergy Advisor for safeguarding. He has been a priest for over thirty years, serving in London and Christchurch, and is currently the Parish Priest in St Joseph’s Maidenhead (since 2014). He spent his first eight years working with young people who were caught up in the ‘drug scene’ who had contracted HIV/AIDS. He has worked extensively as a school and hospital Chaplain. He holds a Master’s in Pastoral Theology and a Foundation Degree in Healthcare Chaplaincy. He has served as Clergy Advisor for Safeguarding for the last seven years. He sees the position of Clergy Advisor as a developing role supporting the Safeguarding Commission and the Clergy of the diocese. He is involved in the induction meetings for priests who are new to the diocese.
Fr PJ Smith
Fr PJ is in charge of the Department for Education: responsible for our Catholic Schools. He is also the Administrator of the Cathedral and Parish Priest for Portsmouth.
Paul has been a member of the Commission for the last 13 years. He is a Senior Probation Officer with the National Probation Service, managing the delivery of community supervision in Southampton. He is a member of the Parish of St Patrick’s Woolston, where he is a reader and an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion.
Meta joined the Safeguarding Commission in 2010. She is a retired nurse (specialising in adult and paediatric care) and has been a senior manager in the NHS.