The Church of England

  1. New Berwick Bishop announced

    The venerable Mark Wroe has been approved by the Queen to become next Bishop of Berwick.

    The current Archdeacon of Northumberland was ordained in 1997 and was previously the vicar of St Alban Windy Nook in Gateshead and Holy Trinity Jesmond.

    The married father-of-three was born in Newcastle and raised in Chester-le-Street.

    Mark Wroe

    The Bishop of Newcastle, the Right Reverend Christine Hardman said: “I am delighted that Mark has accepted the invitation to be the next Bishop of Berwick.

    "He brings great experience and is a person of warmth, joy and integrity. Mark was born in Newcastle and grew up in this region, so knows it well and shares a deep commitment to all the rural and urban communities we serve."

    The Venerable Mark Wroe said: “I’m very aware that these are challenging and disorientating times, with many people across our region concerned for loved ones and livelihoods, yet the Church has such deep hope and joy in Jesus Christ to offer. I look forward to working with all those in our communities, who seek to work together for a more compassionate society, and to sharing our hope and faith in Christ with humility and courage.”

    He will be ordained and consecrated early in 2021.

  2. Archbishop of York enthroned in socially distanced service

    The new Archbishop of York has been enthroned in a ceremony at York Minster.

    Enthronement service

    The Most Reverend Stephen Cottrell becomes the 98th archbishop, taking over from Dr John Sentamu as the second most senior Church of England cleric.

    A limited number of people were allowed to attend the socially distanced service, which was streamed online.

    Archbishop Cottrell said he was "delighted and humbled" to take up the role.

    "I have begun my ministry at a time of huge hardship and challenge and at the moment Covid-19 is having a particularly devastating impact in the North," he said.

    His enthronement took place on the Feast day of St Luke, Apostle and Evangelist. There were readings and prayers as well as music and singing by the Minster choir.

    The archbishop took his oath of office on the York Gospels, a 1,000-year-old illustrated religious book which has been at the Minster since 1020.

  3. Bishop withdraws reference letter for shamed priest

    The Bishop of Carlisle is being investigated by the Church of England after he gave a character reference for a former colleague who was jailed for more than eight years for sexually abusing children.

    The reference written by the Right Reverend James Newcome, for Reverend Robert Bailey, formed part of a pre-sentence report submitted after 71-year-old Bailey admitted abusing girls in Wiltshire.

    Bishop James in House of Lords

    Bishop James said he'd made an "error of judgement" and had asked for his character reference for Bailey to be withdrawn.

    He's also agreed to temporarily step back from any involvement with safeguarding decision-making at the Diocese of Carlisle.

  4. Change urged at Church of England after abuse report

    BBC Radio Stoke

    The Church of England needs to listen better to victims and survivors of sexual abuse, the Bishop of Lichfield has said.

    The report

    A report by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse said the Church had failed to protect children and had a culture where abusers "could hide".

    The Church defended alleged perpetrators instead of protecting children and young people from sexual predators, the report said.

    The Right Reverend Dr Michael Ipgrave said he felt a deep sense of shame reading the report.

    "It underlines the need for a complete change in our culture and a change in our focus.

    "Our priority needs to be not our reputation, it needs absolutely to attend seriously to every complaint which that is brought to us."