Bishop of Berwick Announced at Mini Michaels

A photograph of six people, four clergy and two lay people standing outside St Michael's Church Alnwick

Rev’d Julia Myles, Rev’d Canon Paul Scott, Lindsay Tanner, Rev’d Mark Tanner, Bishop-Designate, Rt Rev’d Christine Hardman, Bishop of Newcastle, and Roger Hardman stand outside St Michael’s Church

On Thursday, 1st September St Michael’s was honoured to be the venue where the name of the new Suffragan Bishop of Berwick was announced. The grown-ups and children of Mini Michaels gathered for their usual Thursday morning session of  play, craft,songs, stories, bubble prayers (and the ‘okey cokey’) and were joined by the Bishop of Newcastle, the Right Rev’d Christine Hardman. She introduced us to Bishop-designate Mark Tanner, who will be only the second Suffragan Bishop of Berwick since the first died in 1572.

Bishop Christine showed us her Bishop’s staff, which was made in Northumberland, and explained that it is shaped like a shepherd’s crook because she acts as a shepherd to us, her flock. She leads our Diocese, and the new Bishop of Berwick works as her assistant – supporting her and her ministry across the whole Diocese. His appointment follows the announcement of the retirement of Bishop Frank White, Assistant Bishop of Newcastle at the end of September.

The Bishop and the Bishop-designate, along with two Archdeacons, a Dean and the Head Teacher of St Michael’s First School joined us in prayers, parachute songs and  the okey cokey! Bishop-designate Mark was persuaded to wear a paper mitre alongside the children which was given to him by our Curate, Rev’d Julia Myles, and we were also introduced to his wife, Lindsay.

Rev’d Canon Mark Tanner is currently Vice-Principal of St John’s College, University of Durham, and Warden of Cramner Hall. He studied at Oxford and was a youth worker in Coventry before being ordained in 1998. He served as a Vicar in Doncaster and Ripon before becoming Warden at Cramner Hall and being made an honorary Canon of Durham Cathedral. He and Lindsay have two teenage children, and he enjoys cars and motorbikes, and being a husband and dad.

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 Revd 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!”

Principal of St John’s College, Durham, the Reverend Professor David Wilkinson, said, “Mark has been a good friend and colleague over the past five years and I am thrilled at this new appointment for his life and ministry. He has been an inspiring Warden, who has led with great humour and a fully human spirituality in leadership, preaching, teaching and encouraging worship: his influence on the life of the Cranmer Hall community and the life of St John’s has been invaluable and we are sad to lose him.”

Mark Tanner will be ordained and consecrated a bishop by the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, in a service at York Minster beginning at 11.00am on Tuesday 18th October.

He will be welcomed to his ministry in the Diocese of Newcastle at services in St Nicholas’ Cathedral, Newcastle, at 11.00am on Saturday 3rd December, and at St Aidan’s Church, Bamburgh, at 2.30pm on Sunday 4th December.

Photos

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Okey-Cokey Video

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