Downing Street has announced the appointment of the Right Reverend Dr Helen-Ann Hartley, currently Bishop of Ripon, as the next Bishop of Newcastle. The appointment was approved by Her Late Majesty The Queen.
Bishop Helen-Ann, who was brought up in the North East, will succeed the Right Reverend Christine Hardman who retired as Bishop of Newcastle in November last year.
Bishop Helen-Ann said: “I am absolutely delighted and excited to be the next Bishop of Newcastle. With life-long connections to the whole region covered by the Diocese, I am inspired by the example of the Northern Saints, whose engagement in God’s mission lies deep in the fabric and contours of the land. I am, and will continue to be in this new role, a passionate advocate for the region. I look forward immensely to supporting and encouraging the vital work of the Diocese at every level: parishes and benefices, schools, chaplaincies, clergy and lay together as we continue to engage in God’s mission in the season that lies ahead.”
The Archbishop of York, the Most Reverend Stephen Cottrell said: “I am delighted that Helen-Ann has agreed to become the next Bishop of Newcastle. Helen-Ann brings rich experience and a tremendous passion for communicating the gospel, as well as a deep commitment to championing those often under-represented in our society. Newcastle Diocese is truly blessed to have Helen-Ann as its new Bishop.”
The Bishop of Berwick, the Right Reverend Mark Wroe said: “Having worked with Helen-Ann, I am absolutely thrilled that she is to be the next Bishop of Newcastle, returning to her roots here in the North East. Her enthusiasm and energy, her knowledge of our region and its culture, and above all her love of God and of his people will ensure she is an enormous blessing to our parishes and our Diocese.”
Canon Izzy McDonald-Booth, Chair of Newcastle Diocese’s House of Laity, said: “I am extremely excited to be welcoming Helen-Ann to our Diocese. Her understanding of what makes this region special and her natural ability to connect with people will make her an excellent Bishop. Our Northern Saints, a key part of our rich heritage, have played an important part in her faith journey and one of her passions is telling their story in a contemporary and engaging way.”
Commenting on Bishop Helen-Ann’s move from Ripon, the Bishop of Leeds, the Right Reverend Nick Baines said: “It has been a privilege and a pleasure to serve with Bishop Helen-Ann for the last four years. Our loss is Newcastle’s gain, where she will bring many gifts and broad experience to her new responsibilities. She will move on with my gratitude, prayers and blessing.”
Helen-Ann was born in Edinburgh and spent her early years living in the Scottish Borders, where her father was a Church of Scotland minister. At a very young age, she moved with her family to Sunderland where she attended primary and secondary school, and her father became a priest in the Church of England. She was ordained into the Church of England in 2005 as deacon in the Diocese of Oxford and became a priest a year later. In 2010, Helen-Ann relocated to New Zealand where, in 2013, she was elected to become the Bishop of Waikato on the country’s North Island. In 2017, it was announced that she was to become the Bishop of Ripon.
Helen-Ann is active in the world of media and is a keen runner, regularly taking part in parkrun. She is married to Myles, who is a musician and from Cumbria. Her parents, both of whom are retired, live in Durham.
The installation of Bishop Helen-Ann as Bishop of Newcastle will take place at Newcastle Cathedral, likely in early 2023.