The nomination of a new Suffragan Bishop of Berwick - a title which has been in abeyance since 1572 - has been approved, it was announced today.
No 10 Downing Street confirmed this morning that the Queen has approved the nomination of the Reverend Canon Mark Tanner, Warden of Cranmer Hall and Vice-Principal of St John’s College, University of Durham, as Suffragan Bishop of Berwick in the Diocese of Newcastle.
The Bishop of Newcastle, the Right Reverend Christine Hardman, said: "I am delighted that Mark has accepted the invitation to be the Bishop of Berwick. I know that he will be a great blessing to the whole Diocese of Newcastle. He brings a wonderful range of experience in ministry and is a person of great insight, integrity and warmth.
"I am looking forward tremendously to our work together as we face the exciting challenge in this Diocese of growing the Church and sharing the depth of God’s love in ways that bring hope and touch the reality of people’s lives."
Canon Mark Tanner said: "It’s a huge honour to be nominated as the next Bishop of Berwick and I am thrilled to be moving to the Diocese of Newcastle.
"We love Northumberland, and I am very much looking forward to working with Bishop Christine and the team. There is nothing as wonderful as seeing individuals and communities grow in the life and freedom found in Christ."
The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, said: "As Warden of Cranmer Hall, the Reverend Canon Mark Tanner has been involved in developing and equipping people of all backgrounds and experience for the work of God’s mission. He brings particular spiritual gifts to this ministry, and it will be exciting to see these put to work across the Diocese. He is a gifted theological educator, a nurturer of the gifting of others and a joyful and winsome witness to Jesus Christ.
"Mark joined us when the Bishops of the Province of York gathered on Lindisfarne in May 2014, bringing a group of young evangelists who helped us discern the direction of travel for what became the Crossroads Bishops’ missions. He and Bishop Christine will make a remarkable team. Berwick-upon-Tweed has had 444 years to wait for its new Suffragan Bishop - I join the whole Diocese of Newcastle in rejoicing today!"
Mark Simon Austin Tanner, 45, studied at Christ Church, Oxford, and served as a youth worker at Holy Trinity, Coventry before training for ordination at Cranmer Hall. Ordained in 1998, he was Curate at St Mary, Upton (near Birkenhead) and went on to be appointed Vicar of St Mary’s, Wheatley (Doncaster) in 2001. In 2005 he was awarded Master of Theology from Chester College, University of Liverpool, and in 2007 he left Wheatley to become Vicar of Holy Trinity, Ripon, North Yorkshire, until returning to Cranmer Hall as Warden in 2011. He became an honorary Canon of Durham Cathedral in 2015 and was elected to the Church of England’s General Synod in the same year.
Mark is married to Lindsay and they have two teenage children. He enjoys vehicles (especially motorbikes, Land Rovers and a 1951 BSA Bantam he is rebuilding) and being a husband and dad.
He will be ordained and consecrated a bishop by the Archbishop of York in a service at York Minster beginning at 11am on Tuesday, October 18, and will be welcomed to his ministry in the Diocese of Newcastle at services in St Nicholas’ Cathedral, Newcastle, at 11am on Saturday, December 3, and at St Aidan’s Church, Bamburgh, at 2.30pm on Sunday, December 4.