Born in Crosby, Liverpool, on 8 November 1945, Vincent Nichols studied for the priesthood at the Venerable English College in Rome from 1963 to 1970, gaining licences in philosophy and theology at the Gregorian University. He was ordained priest in Rome on 21 December 1969 for the Archdiocese of Liverpool.
In January 1984, he was appointed general secretary of the Bishops’ Conference in England & Wales. Mgr Vincent Nichols was appointed auxiliary bishop to Westminster, with responsibility for North London, on 24 January 1992.
In 1998 Bishop Nichols was appointed chair of the Bishops’ Conference department for Catholic Education and Formation and also chair of the Catholic Education Service.
In 2000, Bishop Nichols was appointed Archbishop of Birmingham.
On 21 May 2009 he was installed as the 11th Archbishop of Westminster following the retirement of Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor. He was elected President of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales by unanimous acclamation on 30 April 2009. He received the Pallium in Rome from Pope Benedict XVI on 29 June 2009, the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul.
In 2010 he received an Honorary Doctoral Degree from Birmingham University, and in 2011 he received an Honorary Doctorate of divinity from Liverpool Hope University.
On 22nd February 2014, he received the red hat of a Cardinal from Pope Francis in St Peter's Basilica in Rome.
He is patron of a number of Catholic charities including The Passage and the Cardinal Hume Centre.