Archbishop Arthur Roche was born in Batley Carr, in the diocese of Leeds, on 6 March 1950. He was educated at Christleton Lodge in Chester and then at the English College in Valladolid, Spain. He was ordained a priest on 19 July 1975 for the diocese of Leeds.
After three years of ministry as parish vicar in Barnsley, he became secretary to Bishop Gordon Wheeler of Leeds. At the same time, he served as chaplain of the Saint John Bosco School in Leeds and vice chancellor of the diocese. He coordinated the visit of the Holy Father John Paul II to York in 1982. For six years he worked as parish vicar of the cathedral and then became parish priest of Saint Wilfrid’s parish in Leeds.
In 1991 he was sent to Rome to continue his studies at the Pontifical Gregorian University, where he was awarded a licentiate in Spiritual Theology. For four years he served as spiritual director at the Venerable English College in Rome. From 1996 until his episcopal appointment, he was secretary general of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales.
Elected titular bishop of Rusticiana and auxiliary of Westminster on 12 April 2001, he received episcopal consecration on the following 10 May. He was also chairman of the Westminster Department of Pastoral Affairs.
On 16 July 2002 Saint John Paul II appointed him coadjutor bishop of Leeds, England, and he succeeded him by coadjuture on 7 April 2004.
On 26 June 2012, Pope Benedict XVI appointed him as secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, elevating him at the same time to the dignity of Archbishop.
On 27 May 2021 the Holy Father Francis appointed him prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments
On 11 December 2021 he was chosen as a member of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.