No 10 Downing Street has announced this morning (1st September 2017) 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 Right Revd Mark Bryant, Bishop of Jarrow said: “On behalf of the Diocese I want to offer our very warmest congratulations to Mark Tanner who has been announced today as the new Bishop of Berwick.

“This is clearly a wonderful appointment for the Diocese of Newcastle but a big loss both to us in Durham Diocese and to the world of Theological Education in the Church of England.  

“During his time as warden of Cranmer Mark has been an immense support to the Diocese in a whole variety of ways. He has always been a man who liked to say “Yes” to any way in which Cranmer Hall could support the Diocese and  a number of projects, not least the East Durham Mission project have come out of Mark’s willingness to look at ways of supporting the life of the Diocese.   We wish him well and assure him of our prayers for all that lies ahead – albeit on another shore!”

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.


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