THE Archbishop of York, Dr Sentamu, paid tribute to the
Rt Revd Martyn Wharton, who is retiring as Bishop of Newcastle. "He
is loved in Newcastle diocese as a friend, a pastor, and a visitor
to clergy and laity alike. His wife had always visited new clergy
on moving in, and would often pop her head around the study door to
tell visiting clergy that they were staying for lunch."
Bishop Wharton had made a "very significant contribution to
public life both nationally and in the diocese"; he had served as
vice-president of Newcastle Community Foundation, and was a "strong
advocate for Newcastle and Northumbria".
He had introduced a "collaborative and non-hierarchical culture
in the diocese, deploying teams and task groups to get jobs done";
and had seen a two-per-cent increase in attendance across the
diocese between 2000 and 2010.
As one of the longest-serving bishops in the House of Lords,
Bishop Wharton had "highlighted a wide range of issues from a
northern perspective, from mesothelioma to the concern of landlords
over immigration reforms; and, in 2008, ahead of the pack, he was
speaking in support of credit unions."
Dr Sentamu said that, as "the last of the Smoking Bishops", he
could often be found in Black Rod's garden, availing himself of the
smoking shelter; and that "when taking one of his 'fresh-air
breaks', he once managed to get himself locked out of his own