THE next Bishop of Norwich is to be the Rt Revd Graham Usher, translated from Dudley, in Worcester diocese. His nomination was announced by Downing Street on Friday.
Bishop Usher will be the 72nd Bishop of Norwich, and succeed the Rt Revd Graham James, who retired at the beginning of the year (News, 1 June).
Bishop Usher is an ecologist, who once chaired the Northeast Advisory Committee of the Forestry Commission (News, 12 January 2018). He spoke at the Church Times Festival of Faith and Literature last year, on trees in scripture and ancient history (Features, 23 February 2018).
He is a member of the International Commission for Anglican-Orthodox Theological Dialogue, and a board member of the Human Tissue Authority.
Bishop Usher said on Friday: “It’s a great honour and somewhat daunting to be nominated as Bishop of Norwich. I’m excited to have been called to serve among the people of Norfolk and Waveney as together we seek to live out Jesus Christ’s call to love God and our neighbours.
“A theme of God’s calling in my life is that each new chapter has been to a new and unexpected place. The diocese of Norwich is equally a new and unexpected place for me, and what a wonderful privilege it is to be called to serve here.
“I see the role of a bishop as encouraging others to live out their faith in Jesus Christ with a generosity of spirit and compassion, bringing people together to serve their neighbours in partnership with others.”
As Bishop of Dudley, he has chaired the Churches’ Housing Association of Dudley and District which provides a women’s refuge, housing for homeless teenagers, and residential support for elderly people who live with long-term mental ill-health.
Before his appointment as Bishop of Dudley in 2014, he was Rector of Hexham, in Newcastle diocese, for ten years, and also Area Dean for five years (2006 to 2011).
The Bishop studied ecological science at the University of Edinburgh and theology at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, and was trained for the priesthood at Westcott House, Cambridge.
His title parish was in the diocese of York, at St Mary the Virgin, Nunthorpe, and he remained in that diocese for his first incumbency, as Vicar of Holy Trinity, North Ormesby, a parish with high levels of social need and child poverty.
Bishop Usher is married to Rachel, a GP. They have two teenage children.
Bishop Usher is a keen beekeeper.