The Venerable Christine Hardman will be consecrated to serve as twelfth Bishop of Newcastle by the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, in a service beginning at 11.00am on Monday 30th November 2015 in York Minster.
Christine Hardman, formerly Archdeacon of Lewisham and Greenwich in the Diocese of Southwark (South London), succeeds the Right Reverend Martin Wharton who retired in 2014.
She will be presented to the Archbishop by the Bishop of Southwark, the Right Reverend Christopher Chessun, and the Assistant Bishop of Newcastle, the Right Reverend Frank White. The preacher will be the Right Reverend Dr Tom Butler, formerly Bishop of Southwark (1998-2010), and the first lesson will be read by the Hardmans’ elder daughter, Elinor Grant.
The Archbishop of York said, “I am delighted to welcome Christine Hardman to the Northern Province as the new Bishop of Newcastle. As Diocesan Bishop for the Diocese of Newcastle, Christine becomes the second female bishop to take a seat in the House of Lords. Christine’s charge, as Bishop, is to share the Good News of the Gospels with all in her care. Her passion and commitment to re-evangelise the North will inspire others to faith everywhere she goes.”
Christine Hardman said, “I feel extraordinarily blessed to be coming to an exciting, vibrant, beautiful Diocese where there is such warmth, hospitality and friendliness.
“I take deeply to heart those wonderful words in the Consecration service, that part of a bishop’s role is ‘knowing their people and being known by them’; it is my priority to make that real as I travel the diocese to pray, worship and work with its people in the coming months and years.
“Working together and with God’s grace, I am committed to building on all the great things that are already happening in the Diocese of Newcastle and finding new, imaginative ways to touch the lives of those outside the Church with the transforming love of Jesus Christ.”
Christine will be presented with a pastoral staff (the traditional bishop’s ‘crozier’ symbolising a shepherd’s care for a flock) made by Neville Straker of Amble from a wooden shank topped with a Northumbrian ram’s horn, and entrusted initially to Bishop Martin Wharton at the service for his retirement in 2014 to be passed on to his successor. For her pectoral cross (worn by bishops on a chain around the neck) she will wear the cross presented to her on her licensing as a Deaconess in 1984, and her bishop’s ring (worn on the third finger of the right hand) has been designed and made by Alan Harrison of Kirkharle Courtyard, Northumberland.
Bishop Christine will be welcomed to the Diocese of Newcastle at a Service of Inauguration at the Cathedral Church of St Nicholas, Newcastle, beginning at 11.00am on Saturday 12th December 2015.
For further information contact Martin Sheppard, Newcastle Diocesan Communications Officer, on 07544 803160, [email protected].
- Journalists and photographers wishing to attend the service will need official accreditation in advance from York Minster to gain entry to the Minster and the media positions. Please contact the Communications Team to apply for accreditation. For accreditation and information about attending the service please contact the York Minster Communications Team: Sharon Atkinson – Director of Communications – (t: 01904 557248 m: 07785 615457 e: [email protected]), or Leanne Woodhurst – Communications Manager –(t: 01904 559534 m: 07824 017585 e: [email protected]).
The Bishop of Newcastle is the leader of the Diocese of Newcastle, acting as both the source of teaching authority and a focus for unity in the diocese.
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 46 Church of England Schools.
Christine Hardman becomes the twelfth Bishop of Newcastle since the post was created on the formation of the Diocese of Newcastle by division from the Diocese of Durham in 1882.
As a bishop her title will become ‘The Right Reverend’.
She is the seventh woman to become a bishop in the Church of England and the second to lead a Diocese.
Christine Elizabeth Hardman, 64, holds a BSc (Econ) from the University of London and trained for ordination on the St Albans Ministerial Training Scheme. She later studied for a Master’s degree in Applied Theology from Westminster College, Oxford. She became a Deaconess in 1984 and was ordained Deacon in 1987, serving as Curate at St John the Baptist, Markyate Street in the Diocese of St Albans. She took up the role of Tutor and Course Director on the St Albans Ministerial Training Scheme from 1988-1996. During this period the Scheme merged with the Oxford Ministry Course and she became its Director of Mission Studies.
Christine was ordained Priest in 1994 and became Vicar of Holy Trinity and Christ the King, Stevenage in 1996 and also Rural Dean of Stevenage in 1999. She served as Archdeacon of Lewisham and Greenwich from 2001 to 2012.
In 2012 Christine became Assistant Priest at Southwark Cathedral and received the Bishop’s Permission to Officiate in the Diocese of St Albans where she was acting Warden of Readers. She has a special interest in mission studies and the social implications of the Gospel.
Christine was a member of the Church of England’s General Synod from 1998 until 2015, with one brief break when she moved from St Albans to Southwark Diocese, and has served on many different committees including the Synod's Eucharistic Prayers Revision Committee, the Dioceses and Pastoral Measures Review Group and the Ethical Investment Advisory Group. Her major area of work on General Synod was the legislation to allow women to be bishops. She was Prolocutor of the Province of Canterbury in the last Synod 2010-2015 (which came to an end with the July session) and served on the Archbishop’s Council.
She is married to Roger and they have two daughters and four grandchildren.
Immediately after graduation Christine worked as an articled clerk and with an estate agency. Her interests include making connections between the worlds of economics and Christian faith, being in the mountains, cycling (especially bike tours in other countries and cultures), theatre and cinema. For many years she enjoyed running, completing the London Marathon three times and the Newcastle-based Great North Run.