A RIBBLE Valley mother has spoken of her pride ahead of her son’s ordination as a Roman Catholic bishop.

Veronica Williams, 92, from Hillcrest Road, Langho, said she was ‘absolutely thrilled’ after being told her son, Father Alan Williams, 63, will become the Bishop of Brentwood on July 1.

Pope Francis recently appointed Fr Williams, who is director of the National Shrine of Our Lady at Walsingham, Norfolk, as the seventh Bishop of Brentwood.

The bishop-elect was born in Oldham in 1951, before moving to Langho in 1973 with his family, attending St Mary’s College.

After studying at university in Durham, London and Cambridge, he took his final vows in the Society of Mary (Marist Fathers) in 1981 and was ordained priest in St Anne’s Whitechapel in 1983.

His mother, who has attended St Mary’s RC Church in Langho for 40 years, will travel to the service with 11 members of her family.

The mum-of-two, grandmother-of-two and great grandmother-of-four, said: “I was absolutely thrilled when he rang and told me.

“I’m so proud of him and the rest of the family are too.

“He has worked so hard for this and we are all really looking forward to the big day.”

Fr Williams holds degrees in theology, psychology and religious education and has served in a number of pastoral roles including as a teacher and chaplain in secondary schools.

He also served as Catholic Chaplain at Sheffield Hallam University and taught Christian Spirituality at postgraduate level.

He is a former major superior of the Marist Fathers in England and has worked as a parish priest in the Archdiocese of Southwark.

Fr Williams said: “I am both surprised and humbled to have been appointed by Pope Francis as the new Bishop of Brentwood.

“There is indeed a God of surprises and I have learned to trust ever more in the grace of God for whatever task has been assigned to me.”