The Catholic Church across Yorkshire's historic West Riding since 1878

The Catholic Church across Yorkshire's historic West Riding since 1878

Coat of Arms


Tenth Bishop of Leeds


Desiderio desideravi (“I have desired with desire to be with you”) Gospel of St Luke 22:15. This was the Gospel passage quoted on the day of Bishop Marcus’ Ordination to the Diaconate in Rome by Cardinal Basil Hume, who said, “Carry these words not only throughout your diaconate but into your priesthood; then, you will discover that peace, that joy, in the service of the servants of the Lord.”


Green with twelve tassels for a diocesan bishop


Displayed behind the shield, a processional cross with the ends of the arms botonée and with five red stones, representing the five wounds of Christ.


In the ‘chief’ of the shield is the winged lion, symbol of St Mark (Latin: Marcus, Feast Day 25th April), Evangelist and Martyr, the Patron Saint of Bishop Marcus. The inscription on the open pages of the Gospel Book held by the lion reads: “Pax tibi Marce, evangelista mea”, (“Peace to you Marcus, my evangelist”).

The background colour is red, the colour of the blood which Christ sacrificed on the Cross and the iconographic colour of martyrdom. It reminds us that as baptised Christians we are called to witness to Christ and to be ready to sacrifice our lives for Christ.

The fleur-de-lis on either side symbolise the two arms of the Blessed Virgin Mary, as Our Lady of Unfailing Help (under whose patronage, together with St Wilfrid, the Diocese of Leeds is placed), spreading the protecting mantle of her cloak around those who seek to follow Christ. The fleur-de-lis are coloured white/silver, the iconographic colour for the purity, holiness and simplicity of our baptismal calling and our life of faith in the imitation of Mary, the Mother of God.

The background of the ‘base’ of the shield is gold, the iconographic colour for Christ and the eternal uncreated light of God. Central within the base is the cross of St Chad. This is a reference to Bishop Marcus’ ministry as a deacon and priest of the Archdiocese of Birmingham.

The cross is the dominant symbol of the shield to remind us that Christ must be at the centre of our lives and that we should strive to live in the light and wisdom of God’s Spirit. The cross is coloured blue, the iconographic colour for God’s eternal kingdom; it is this kingdom alone which we must serve by following and carrying the cross of Christ.

In the centre of the cross is a scallop shell, the symbol of the pilgrim and a reference to Bishop Marcus’ training for the priesthood at the Venerable English College in Rome, which was founded as a hospice for pilgrims. The shell is coloured white/silver, the iconographic colour which also symbolises the life of the resurrection. The shell symbolises the pilgrimage of faith that each baptised person must make in the hope of the resurrection of the dead. Placed in the centre of the cross, it recalls the account of the Road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35), and reminds us that this pilgrimage is made with and in Christ.

The heraldic design conforms to the requirements of the Instruction Ut sive sollicite, ‘On the dress, titles, and coats-of-arms of Cardinals, Bishops, and lesser Prelates’, issued by the Secretariat of State on 31st March 1969.