The Bishop of Newcastle, the Right Reverend Martin Wharton, has announced his forthcoming retirement which will be marked by a farewell service in St Nicholas’ Cathedral, Newcastle, at 4pm on Sunday, September 21.
In a message sent to the people and clergy of the Diocese, he says: “It has been a privilege to serve the people and communities of Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland as your Bishop since 1997 and over these years I have formed a deep and lasting attachment to so many people in the parishes and deaneries.”
Martin Wharton became 11th Bishop of Newcastle in 1997 in succession to the Right Reverend Alec Graham.
He is a Lancashire man, born and bred, and is still passionate about Lancashire County Cricket Club. He began his ordained ministry in 1972, having worked in a bank and the steel industry before gaining a degree at Durham University and training for the ministry at Ripon Hall Oxford.
He served in parishes in Birmingham and Croydon, was involved in training those preparing for ordination at Ripon College Cuddesdon (Oxford) and was responsible for clergy and lay training in Bradford Diocese. Whilst in Croydon he helped to set up the Nightwatch charity for the homeless, and continues to be concerned for those who live (and die) on the streets.
In 1992 he was appointed as the Area Bishop of Kingston in the Diocese of Southwark, South London. Since moving to the North East he has been a long suffering season ticket holder at Newcastle United and has seen eleven managers come and go in his time here.
He has served in the House of Lords since 2003.
He was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2011 New Year Honours for services to the Church of England and to the community in the North East.
Bishop Martin has been married to Marlene since 1970 and they have one daughter, two sons and four grandsons.