Common Roots: Ancient Evangelical Future Conference

Retired archdeacon appointed Bishop of Newcastle

No 10 Downing Street has announced this morning that Her Majesty The Queen has approved the nomination of the Venerable Christine Hardman for election as Bishop of Newcastle

No 10 Downing Street has announced this morning that Her Majesty The Queen has approved the nomination of the Venerable Christine Hardman BSc(Econ), M.Th, formerly Archdeacon of Lewisham and Greenwich and now Honorary Assistant Priest in the Cathedral and Collegiate Church of St Saviour and St Mary Overie Southwark, for election as Bishop of Newcastle in succession to the Right Reverend Martin Wharton, BA, on his resignation on 30th November 2014.

The Venerable Christine Elizabeth Hardman, aged 64, holds a B.Sc (Econ) from the University of London and trained for ordination on the St Albans Ministerial Training Scheme. She later studied for a Master’s degree in Applied Theology from Westminster College, Oxford. She became a Deaconess in 1984 and was ordained Deacon in 1987, serving as Curate at St John the Baptist, Markyate Street in the Diocese of St Albans. She took up the role of Tutor and Course Director on the St Albans Ministerial Training Scheme from 1988-1996. During this period the Scheme merged with the Oxford Ministry Course and she became its Director of Mission Studies.

Christine was ordained Priest in 1994 and became Vicar of Holy Trinity and Christ the King, Stevenage in 1996 and also Rural Dean of Stevenage in 1999. She served as Archdeacon of Lewisham and Greenwich from 2001 to 2012.

In 2012 Christine became Assistant Priest at Southwark Cathedral and received the Bishop’s Permission to Officiate in the Diocese of St Albans where she has been acting Warden of Readers. She has a special interest in mission studies and the social implications of the Gospel.

Christine has been a member of the General Synod since 1998, with one brief break, when she moved from St Albans to Southwark Diocese, and has served on many different committees including the Synod’s Eucharistic Prayers Revision Committee, the Dioceses and Pastoral Measures Review Group and the Ethical Investment Advisory Group. Her major area of work on General Synod was the legislation to allow women to be bishops. She was Prolocutor of the Province of Canterbury in the last Synod 2010-2015 (which came to an end with the July session) and served on the Archbishop’s Council.

She is married to Roger and they have two daughters and four grandchildren.

Immediately after graduation Christine worked as an articled clerk and with an estate agency. Her interests include making connections between the worlds of economics and Christian faith, being in the mountains, cycling (especially bike tours in other countries and cultures), theatre and cinema. For many years she enjoyed running, completing the London Marathon three times and the Newcastle-based Great North Run. *Dates have yet to be announced for her Consecration as a bishop and the inauguration of her ministry in the Diocese of Newcastle. *Christine Hardman said, “I don’t really have the words to express my excitement at coming to this vibrant, warm and proud part of the world.”

“From my own faith journey I know the key significance of warm, lively, welcoming church communities with worship that transforms us and sends us out into the world – bringing the depth of Christian hope to places where hope is thin on the ground.

“God cares about the world – not just about the Church. The rule of Christ is over the whole of our lives. That’s why it’s so important for Christians to engage and work with key partners for all that leads to the flourishing of communities. As Bishop of Newcastle I will take every opportunity to engage in the public square and especially to speak on behalf of those whose voices are not heard.

“It will be such a privilege to be your Bishop and to lead you on the next stage of the journey. In all of this I will be relying on God’s grace and your prayers.”

The Right Reverend Frank White, Assistant Bishop of Newcastle, said, “This is such a good moment to welcome Christine Hardman to be our new Bishop and I look forward with eager anticipation to serving alongside her. *“Her wide interests and experience and her desire to encounter and learn from the spirituality of this region offer us all real opportunities for growth.

“Christine’s gift for the intelligent engagement of the good news of Jesus Christ with the challenges of our times dovetails wonderfully with the vision of this diocese.”

The Right Reverend Christopher Chessun, Bishop of Southwark, said, “I am delighted that Christine has been appointed as the next Bishop of Newcastle.

“She will bring great wisdom and experience to the role and she will lead the people of Newcastle with prayerfulness, energy and grace.

“We have been privileged to experience her ministry here in Southwark over years and I am sure that the Diocese of Newcastle will benefit hugely from her Episcopal ministry.

“She and Roger go to this exciting new role with my prayers and those of the people of Southwark.”

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