Bishop Frank White to retire in September


Assistant Bishop of Newcastle the Rt Revd Frank WhiteThe Bishop of Newcastle, the Rt Revd Christine Hardman, has announced today that the Assistant Bishop of Newcastle, the Rt Revd Frank White, will retire on the 30th September 2016.

Bishop Christine said, “Bishop Frank has given an enormous amount to this Diocese during his time as Assistant Bishop of Newcastle: his godliness, deep sense of prayer, profound pastoral care, and commitment to mission and evangelism have been greatly valued by so many people.”

Frank White who is 67 this year was consecrated to serve as Suffragan Bishop of Brixworth in the Diocese of Peterborough in 2002. There he supported the Diocese through the illness and death of the Bishop of Peterborough the Rt Revd Ian Cundy in 2009. In 2010 he accepted the invitation of the then-Bishop of Newcastle the Rt Revd Martin Wharton to succeed the Rt Revd Paul Richardson as full-time Assistant Bishop of Newcastle.

From November 2014 until December 2015 Bishop Frank fulfilled the role of Acting Bishop of Newcastle following Bishop Martin Wharton's retirement and until the inauguration of Bishop Christine Hardman as twelfth Bishop of Newcastle.

He is married to Alison, herself a priest and since June 2015 Suffragan Bishop of Hull in the Diocese of York. The Whites are the first and currently the only example of two bishops married to each other in the Church of England.

Bishop Christine added, “I have been hugely grateful for Bishop Frank’s care of the Diocese during the episcopal vacancy, the generosity of his welcome to me, and the many ways in which he has enabled the ministry of others to flourish, notably in his work as Warden of Readers and with Self-Supporting ministers.

“He will be greatly missed, but we wish him well in his retirement and as he re-joins Bishop Alison in her continuing work in the East Riding of Yorkshire.”


Successor to be Suffragan Bishop of Berwick

Frank White’s successor will continue the role of sharing the work and ministry of the Bishop of Newcastle across the Diocese of Newcastle, which is the most northerly diocese of the Church of England and framed by the Rivers Tyne and Tweed.

However, the next bishop to be appointed will bear the title Suffragan Bishop of Berwick; the title was last borne by a bishop in the 16th Century, but in today's diocese the titles of the Bishops of Newcastle and Berwick will symbolise the breadth of their shared ministry to rural, coastal and urban communities across Northumberland and Tyneside.

Commenting on the Church of England's agreement to revive the title Bishop of Berwick, Bishop Christine said, “I am grateful that we have received permission to begin the process of appointing a Bishop of Berwick to work alongside me and others across the whole Diocese of Newcastle.

“With others in the national Church and in this Diocese, I will be working hard in the coming months to ensure the appointment of the right person to offer inspiring leadership and oversight as we face future challenges and opportunities.”

The Diocese of Newcastle will thank Bishop Frank White and bid him farewell at a service in St Nicholas Cathedral, Newcastle at 2.30pm on the 18th September.

Announcement of the new Bishop of Berwick will follow when an appointment is made.




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