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New bishop given warm welcome to Northumberland

Mark Tanner, Bishop of Berwick
Mark Tanner, Bishop of Berwick

The first Suffragan Bishop of Berwick to be appointed in over 400 years has been welcomed to north Northumberland.

A special service was held at St Aidan’s Church in Bambugh on Sunday, the day after Rt Rev Mark Tanner’s formal installation at Newcastle Cathedral.

Mark Tanner, Bishop of Berwick with Bishop of Newcastle Christine Hardman.

Mark Tanner, Bishop of Berwick with Bishop of Newcastle Christine Hardman.

The service, led by the Bishop of Newcastle, Rt Rev Christine Hardman, celebrated Mark’s ministry as the second bishop in the Newcastle Diocese, which stretches from the Tyne to the Tweed.

Bishop Mark, 45, formerly Warden of Cranmer Hall, part of St John’s College in Durham University, was consecrated as a bishop by Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu at York Minster in October.

He said: “I’m looking forward to getting to know the people here, to spending time in churches and with communities, to hearing the good news about where God is working, and to giving all the encouragement I can in all of this and more.

“It is a great privilege to pray and work together with each other in Christ as we grow church and bring hope in this wonderful and varied diocese.”

Bishop Christine added: “Bishop Mark brings with him wide and varied experience – of youth work, military chaplaincy, parish ministry in a range of settings, and most recently the world of theological education. He comes to us as someone recognised as a good, strategic, and caring leader who believes in people and loves to invest in them. He is a skilled communicator, with significant skills in mission and evangelism, and a deep love of God, nurtured by prayer. Bishop Mark already knows and loves the North East, having spent the last five years in Durham. We warmly welcome him, his wife Lindsay, and their children to the Diocese of Newcastle.”

A Suffragan Bishop’s title is traditionally taken from the name of a place within the diocese concerned; the title ‘Bishop of Berwick’ has been out of use for 444 years since the death in 1572 of Bishop Thomas Sparke.