The See of Nottingham is vacant. For the first time in seventy years the Diocese of Nottingham has no bishop. The last vacancy began with the death of Bishop John Francis McNulty, the sixth Bishop of Nottingham on 8th June 1943 and ended on 1st May 1944 with the episcopal consecration of Father Edward Ellis as the seventh Bishop. Since then the diocese has been led by a bishop; Bishop Ellis handing on to Bishop James McGuinness at the end of October 1974; and Bishop McGuinness handing over to Bishop Malcolm McMahon OP on 8th December 2000.
Today in a ceremony lasting over two hours in the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King in Liverpool, our Bishop Malcolm became Archbishop Malcolm McMahon OP, ninth Archbishop of Liverpool. In addition to most of the archbishops and bishops of England and Wales, two from Northern Ireland, and no less than three cardinals, priests of the Archdiocese of Liverpool were joined by many priests from the Diocese of Nottingham and from a number of other dioceses who are friends of Bishop Malcolm. Great numbers of Dominicans, priests brothers and sisters were also present as there were in St Barnabas Cathedral in December 2000, making this a family event on many levels. Archbishop Malcolm's family were present among the congregation thronging the 'iconic building'.
Archbishop Malcolm has adopted a new coat of arms today:
Those familiar with the arms he has used as Bishop of Nottingham will recognise various elements but may also note the changes. On the left side of the shield is a pale blue field with the pallium of the archbishop with a golden anchor charged with a red rose above. The right side of the shield still bears the black and white Dominican symbol, while the chief above is now red, but still bears the dove and fleurs-de-lys of Bishop Malcolm's previous arms. The green galero above the shield now has four rows of fiocchi hanging to either side indicating his rank as archbishop, as does the two-bar archiepiscopal cross behind the shield. Archbishop Malcolm has chosen to keep his motto unchanged 'Non nisi te' (None but you).
We wish Archbishop Malcolm well in his new responsibilities as Archbishop of Liverpool and assure him of our prayers. We also ask for the guidance of the Holy Spirit upon those who will choose our Diocesan Administrator in the next few days who will lead the Diocese of Nottingham during the vacancy while our new bishop is selected.