Christine Hardman becomes 2nd Woman Bishop in the Church of England
Christine Hardman has been announced as the next and twelfth Bishop of Newcastle, making her the seventh woman to take up the position of bishop since legislation was passed last year. Christine Elizabeth Hardman, who currently works in Southwark, will replace Rt Rev Martin Wharton, who retired last November. She is likely to become the second woman bishop in the Church of England and the first in the Province of York. She is currently an archdeacon-emeritus.
Christine Elizabeth Hardman
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."
She expressed a belief that Christians should work towards the flourishing of local communities, not just the Church. "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," she promised. "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."
Hardman was ordained deacon in 1987 and priest in 1994. She has a special interest in mission studies and the social implications of the gospel. She is married to Roger, with whom she has two daughters and four grandchildren. Her interests include cycling, running, theatre and cinema.
She served as a deaconess at St John the Baptist, Marykate Street in the Diocese of St Albans from 1984 to 1988, becoming Curate there. She was also the Course Director of the St Albans and Oxford Ministry Course from 1988 to 1996. She was then Vicar of Holy Trinity and Christ the King, Stevenage from 1996 to 2001, as well as Rural Dean of Stevenage from 1999 to 2001. She was then Archdeacon of Lewisham and until her retirement from the post on 30 November 2012, when she became Assistant Priest at Southwark Cathedral.
She has been a Member of the General Synod of the Church of England since 1998, with a brief break and was the Prolocutor of the Lower House of the Convocation of Canterbury in the last Synod 2010–2015; as a Diocesan Bishop, she will automatically become a Member of the Synod once again in the House of Bishops. On the Synod, she has served on the following committees: Eucharistic Prayers Revision Committee, the Dioceses and Pastoral Measures Review Group and the Ethical Investment Advisory Group. She was involved in the legislation which allowed women to become Bishops in the Church of England.
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