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Suffragan Bishop of Berwick announced

The Reverend Canon Mark Tanner

Thursday 1st September 2016

No 10 Downing Street has announced this morning that Her Majesty The Queen has approved the nomination of the Reverend Canon Mark Tanner MA (Oxon), BA (Hons), MTh, 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.


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.

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 (together with the Venerable Mark Ashcroft who is to be Bishop of Bolton in the Diocese of Manchester). 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.

For further information contact Martin Sheppard, Communications Officer, Diocese of Newcastle, on 07544 803160 or

Notes for Editors:

In addition to his parish and academic work, Mark Tanner served as a member of the Royal Army Chaplain’s Department from 2009-2013, serving as Officiating Chaplain to 21 Engineer Regiment from 2009 to 2011, and as Officiating Chaplain to 101 Royal Artillery from 2011 to 2013. He served as Area Dean of Ripon, as New Wine’s Regional Network Leader for the North and East, and was an Associate with ReSource. Mark was the convenor of the Renewal series of Grove Booklets; he has written various books on a number of subjects, including books entitled ‘The PCC Members Essential Guide’ (CHP, 2015) and ‘The Introvert Charismatic’ (Monarch, 2015) and a number of Grove Booklets, mainly on preaching and leadership. His passion is seeing people released into all that God has for them; he loves introducing people to faith, is a natural teacher and trainer, an instinctive strategist and networker.

The Diocese of Newcastle is the Church of England from the River Tyne to the Scottish Border, and encompasses the City of Newcastle upon Tyne, the County of Northumberland, North Tyneside and small areas of Cumbria and County Durham. It includes 246 parish churches and 47 Church of England Schools.

The Suffragan Bishop of Berwick will support the Bishop of Newcastle’s ministry across the entire Diocese of Newcastle. The Bishop of Newcastle leads the Diocese and is both the source of teaching authority and the focus for unity within it. A Suffragan Bishop exercises their ministry in support of and by permission of the Diocesan Bishop, and takes their title from a place within the diocese.

Mark Tanner’s appointment follows the announcement of the retirement at the end of September of the Right Reverend Frank White, Assistant Bishop of Newcastle since 2010.

While Mark Tanner’s role as the second bishop in the Diocese of Newcastle will be similar to that of Bishop Frank White, the title Bishop of Berwick has been in abeyance since the death in 1572 of the first Suffragan Bishop of Berwick, the Right Reverend Thomas Sparke.

Announcement Programme:

The Suffragan Bishop of Berwick is announced on Thursday 1st September at 10.00am at St Michael’s Church, Canongate, Alnwick (on B6346). The Bishop of Newcastle, the Right Reverend Christine Hardman, will announce and welcome the new Bishop, followed by time for interviews and pictures with ‘Mini Michaels’, the church’s mums-and-toddlers group. See

Photo and interview opportunity with the Bishop Designate at 12.00 noon at Holy Trinity Church, The Parade, Berwick-upon-Tweed. Holy Trinity is the most northerly parish church in England, and is the only Parish Church built during The Commonwealth of Oliver Cromwell. See

Photo and interview opportunity with the Bishop Designate at 3.15pm at St Nicholas’ Cathedral, Mosley Street, Newcastle NE1 1PF. St Nicholas’ Cathedral is the Mother Church of Diocese of Newcastle and the Bishop Designate will be welcomed by the Dean and Chapter. See 

Photo and interview opportunity with the Bishop Designate at 4.00pm at the West End Refugee Service (WERS), St Philips Vicarage, St Philips Close, Newcastle NE4 5JE. WERS is a registered charity supporting asylum seekers and refugees, and has an excellent reputation for its warm and friendly welcome and the consistently high quality of services. See

The Bishop Designate will attend a public service of Evening Prayer at 6.00pm at St Giles’ Church, Chollerton NE46 4TF, to which all people and clergy of the Diocese of Newcastle are invited. See

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