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 delighted to have been called to be the Bishop of Newcastle. At the same time, I shall be very sorry to leave the Diocese of Leeds, and the Ripon Episcopal Area in particular. The last four and a half years have presented so many opportunities and challenges to live, love and learn together, particularly as we navigated the ups and downs of the seasons of lockdown.
“I’d like to pay tribute to my immediate colleagues who have supported and encouraged along the way, and with whom it has been an absolute joy to work: the Area staff team, and especially to Archdeacon Jonathan who has made an immeasurable difference to my role, and to the whole Diocese.
“I cannot begin to quantify how much I have learnt from Bishop Nick, and will always value his wisdom, resilience and integrity as a very model of episcopal ministry.
“And to Judith my terrific PA without whom literally I could not have done this role! Myles and I have so enjoyed getting to know the region, and we are pleased that we will remain in the North. Please pray for us in the months ahead, as we will surely continue to pray for the Diocese of Leeds and the North Yorkshire region as a whole’”.
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.”
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.”
Bishop 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.
The installation of Bishop Helen-Ann as Bishop of Newcastle will take place at Newcastle Cathedral, likely in early 2023.