The new Bishop of Brentwood says he finds it “difficult” to accept same-sex marriage.

Father Alan Williams, of Brentwood Cathedral in Essex, is the first Bishop of Brentwood to be appointed by the Pope in more than three decades.

His appointment was announced on Monday.

Speaking to the Brentwood Gazette, Fr Williams, 63, admitted he found it “difficult” to accept same-sex marriage, but said the Catholic Church “certainly can’t be judging anyone and we certainly can’t be nasty to people.”

Fr Williams added: “I think it’s very important not to pass judgement. After all, who am I to judge?

“I have an idea in my mind what a Christian marriage fundamentally is and I find it difficult when these things change.”

Last month, Pope Francis stated that “matrimony is between a man and a woman” but hinted that he could eventually accept the principle of civil partnerships.