Bishop Peter Ingham passes away at 83

14 January 1941 – 26 April 2024
Ordained: 18 July 1964
Consecrated: 12 July 1993

                                                    Bishop Peter Ingham passes away at 83

Bishop Peter Ingham is being remembered as a gentleman and a true man of God, after passing away peacefully on Friday evening at the age of 83.

Bishop Ingham had served the Church for close to 60 years as a priest and more than 30 years as a bishop, labouring first in the Archdiocese of Sydney and then the Diocese of Wollongong.

Bishop Anthony Randazzo, Bishop of Broken Bay, described Bishop Ingham as “a holy priest, a good shepherd, and a gentleman”.

“While not unexpected, the sad news of his passing will be felt by many,” said Bishop Anthony.

“To his family, brother bishops and priests, religious, and many friends, Bishop Ingham will be remembered as a man of deep faith, caring, humble, dignified and always welcoming.”

Archbishop Peter Comensoli, Archbishop of Melbourne and former Bishop of Broken Bay, said Bishop Peter Ingham was: “A great apostle of joy and hope. A man of God, through and through. A humble leader.”

Archbishop Comensoli served as a priest in the Diocese of Wollongong under Bishop Ingham for close to a decade.

Bishop of Wollongong, Brian Mascord, paid tribute to his predecessor and said: “Bishop Peter was a spiritual father of the Illawarra, Macarthur, Shoalhaven and Southern Highlands.

“We offer him a heartfelt ‘well done, good and faithful servant’ (Matthew 25:23), and we take comfort in the sure hope that we now have another advocate in the presence of our Lord praying for the needs and salvation of the people of God in the Diocese of Wollongong.

“A man of God—a man for the people. May his noble soul rest in peace.”

Peter William Ingham was born in Crows Nest and raised in what is now the Diocese of Broken Bay.

He was educated at St Leonard’s Primary School, Naremburn, and St Pius X College, Chatswood. He studied for the priesthood at St Columba’s Seminary, Springwood, and at St Patrick’s Seminary, Manly

Ordained to the priesthood by the late Cardinal Sir Norman Gilroy in St Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney in 1964, Bishop Ingham held a number of parish appointments in the Archdiocese of Sydney. This included private secretary to Cardinal James Freeman, and then as secretary of the Archdiocese.

In 1986, Bishop Ingham was honoured with the title of Monsignor by Pope John Paul II, and in July 1993 was consecrated auxiliary bishop of Sydney.

On 25 July 2001 he was installed as the fourth bishop of Wollongong where he served faithfully for 16 years.

Before retiring in 2017, he also 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 2008 Bishop Ingham participated in the 12th Synod of Bishops at the Vatican.

In 2016, he was diagnosed with fibrosis of the lungs which restricted his airways and his capacity to exert himself.

For his “significant service to the Catholic Church in Australia” Bishop Ingham was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in 2022.

The details of Bishop Peter Ingham’s vigil and funeral Mass at St Francis Xavier Cathedral, Wollongong will be announced in the coming days.

Bishop Anthony implored the faithful to pray for the repose of the soul of Bishop Peter Ingham.

Eternal rest grant unto him O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him, and through God’s mercy may Bishop Peter rest in peace.