The Bishop of Berwick, the Right Revd Mark Tanner to become 41st Bishop of Chester

First published on: 12th May 2020

View video here of Bishop Mark speaking to Bishop Christine about his new appointment.

The Right Reverend Mark Tanner has been named by Downing Street as the next Bishop of Chester, succeeding the Right Reverend Dr Peter Foster who retired last September.

Bishop Mark has been Bishop of Berwick since 2016 and is expected to take up his post in the autumn, practicalities permitting.

It will be hard to say goodbye to the North East, he says. But Lindsay and I are excited to return to Chester where I was ordained and both of our children were born.

Mark says: I am so grateful to be part of the life of the Diocese of Newcastle. This is such a special part of the world and it will always be part of us. God is not finished with us yet and I look forward to celebrating what He leads you all into in the months and years to come. It is an honour to be appointed to the Diocese of Chester at such a key time in the life of our communities, nation and Church. In Christ, God offers a gift of hope beyond our imagining and we get to share it in practical service and profound worship. God is here for all.

Bishop Mark and his wife, Lindsay, will be introduced to the Diocese of Chester via a series of live-streamed events, where members of the public will be invited to watch and participate via Facebook and Zoom.

The Bishop of Newcastle, the Right Reverend Christine Hardman said: It has been a real joy to work with Mark as a key member of the team here. I give thanks for his time amongst us, for his friendship and counsel, his kindness and great sense of fun, and most particularly, for his focus on those whom we are called to serve as Christs church today. He has been instrumental in helping us establish our Resource Church and imagine new possibilities in terms of ministry and mission, and has served us well as Bishop of Berwick. I know the Diocese of Chester will be blessed through his ministry there. In these challenging times, where it is not possible for endings and beginnings to be what we would want them to be, Bishop Mark, Lindsay, and their family are in my prayers as they prepare for this next season in their lives.

The Archbishop of York, the Most Reverend and Right Honourable John Sentamu said: I am glad that Her Majesty the Queen has approved Bishop Mark Tanner to be the next Bishop of Chester. His formation, leadership and experience as a theological educator have prepared him well to be the Chief Shepherd of the Diocese of Chester. Bishop Mark and his family will continue to be in my prayers.

The Bishop of Birkenhead, the Right Reverend Keith Sinclair said: It is a great joy to be able to welcome Mark and Lindsay back to the Diocese of Chester. To be ordained deacon and priest here and then be called back as bishop is a special gift of God. Mark brings fresh eyes and energy to a diocese in which he is no stranger. He sees God working in our life here and is ready for the challenges we face in living and speaking the gospel of Jesus for today. I know his deep prayerfulness in the Spirit and thank God for his joyful faith. The whole diocese has been praying, and we thank God for answered prayer!

Mark was ordained deacon in 1998, having served as the Youth Worker at Holy Trinity in Coventry and then trained for ordained ministry at Cranmer Hall in Durham. He served a curacy at St Marys Upton on the Wirral before moving to Doncaster as Vicar or St Marys. In 2007, he was appointed Vicar of Holy Trinity, Ripon, and there he also served as Area Dean and an Army Chaplain. In 2011 he was appointed as Warden of Cranmer Hall, and later, Vice Principal of St Johns College in Durham and a non-residentiary Canon of Durham Cathedral, a post he occupied until his move to the Diocese of Newcastle to become Suffragan Bishop of Berwick in 2016.

Mark has been a member of the General Synod since 2015, with a break when he became a bishop. He is a member of the Church of Englands Ministry Council and has led the renewal of the Churchs processes for discerning call to ministry. He is a contributing author to a number of publications, writes occasionally for the Church Times and is the author of The Introvert Charismatic and A PCC Members Essential Guide, among other titles.

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