Vale Bishop Peter Ingham, fourth bishop of Wollongong Diocese

By the ACBC, 28 April 2024
Bishop Peter Ingham at a Marriage Anniversary Mass. Photo: Daniel Hopper


Peter William Ingham, the fourth bishop of Wollongong, has died peacefully in the late evening of 26 April aged 83.

“The sad news of the death of Bishop Ingham, while not unexpected, will be felt deeply by many people: his family; the laity, religious and clergy of Wollongong diocese; his brother bishops and his many friends and admirers,” Australian Catholic Bishops Conference President Timothy Costelloe said.

“As we entrust him with great confidence to the boundless compassion and mercy of God we remember him as a man of deep faith, rich in human qualities, who embodied so well what it means to be a faithful Shepherd of God’s people according to the mind and heart of Christ.

“Eternal rest give to him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace.”

Bishop Ingham studied for the priesthood at St Columba’s Seminary, Springwood, and St Patrick’s Seminary, Manly. He was ordained by the late Cardinal Sir Norman Gilroy in St Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney, in 1964.

Following parish appointments in the Archdiocese of Sydney, he was appointed private secretary to Cardinal James Freeman, and then as the secretary of the archdiocese.

Bishop Ingham was nominated as a monsignor by Pope John Paul II in 1986, and in July 1993 he was consecrated auxiliary bishop of Sydney.

On 25 July 2001, he was installed as the fourth bishop of Wollongong, serving the diocese for 16 years.

He served on several committees of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, and in 2006 was elected president of the Federation of Catholic Bishops Conferences of Oceania.

In October 2008, he participated in the 12th Synod of Bishops at the Vatican, and the following year was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI a member of the Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops. In 2022, Bishop Ingham was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for “significant service to the Catholic Church in Australia”.

Bishop of Wollongong Brian Mascord described him as “a spiritual father of the Illawarra, Macarthur, Shoalhaven and Southern Highlands”.

The details for Bishop Ingham’s vigil and funeral Mass at St Francis Xavier Cathedral, Wollongong, will be announced soon.


With thanks to the ACBC.

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