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Graham Usher (bishop)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Graham Usher
Bishop of Norwich
ChurchChurch of England
DioceseDiocese of Norwich
In office17 June 2019 – present
PredecessorGraham James
Other postsBishop of Dudley (March 2014 – June 2019)
Ordination1996 (deacon)
1997 (priest)
Consecration25 March 2014
by Justin Welby
Personal details
Birth nameGraham Barham Usher
Born (1970-09-11) 11 September 1970 (age 50)
EducationPocklington School
Alma materUniversity of Edinburgh
Corpus Christi College, Cambridge

Graham Barham Usher (born 11 September 1970) is an Anglican bishop and ecologist. Since 2019, he has been the Bishop of Norwich; he had previously served as Bishop of Dudley, a suffragan bishop in the Diocese of Worcester.

Early life

Usher was born on 11 September 1970.[1][2] He was baptised by Douglas Sargent, the then Bishop of Selby.[3] His early years were spent living in Ghana.[4] Between 1981 and 1989, he was educated at Pocklington School, an independent school in Pocklington, Yorkshire.[5] He studied ecological science at the University of Edinburgh, graduating with a Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree in 1993.[2][6] He then attended the University of Cambridge where he studied theology at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge.[7] He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in 1995;[2] this degree was later promoted to Master of Arts (MA Cantab), as per tradition.[7] Following the completion of his theology studies, he trained for the priesthood at Westcott House, Cambridge,[6] and St. Nicholas Theological Seminary in Ghana.[2]

Ordained ministry

Usher was ordained in the Church of England as a deacon in 1996 and as a priest in 1997.[2][8] He was then a curate at St Mary the Virgin, Nunthorpe, Middlesbrough, from 1996 to 1999.[4][6] While serving his curacy, he was also worked with young offenders as a chaplain at HM Prison Northallerton.[7] He was Vicar of North Ormesby, Middlesbrough between 1999 and 2004.[6] The area is very poor and is in the top two percent of deprived areas in England.[5][9]

East end of Hexham Abbey
East end of Hexham Abbey

He was rector and lecturer of Hexham Abbey for ten years from 2004 to 2014.[7] Hexham Abbey is a large parish church that can be described as cathedral-like. During his time as rector, the congregation grew and he supported the setting up of a food bank covering West Northumberland.[5][9] He also reunited the abbey with its monastic buildings, the buildings having been separated during the Reformation,[7] raising £3.2M to fully refurbish the building and create a stunning new cloister, refectory, conference and meeting rooms, and a state of the art exhibition about the Abbey's history. In 2009, he undertook a visit to Rome with the men and boys of the Hexham Abbey Choir. They had been invited to sing at a mass in St. Peter's Basilica, in celebration of the 1300th anniversary of the death of St Wilfrid.[10] In addition to his parish duties, he was Area Dean of Hexham from 2006 to 2011.[6] He was appointed an Honorary Canon of Kumasi in Ghana, the place of his early childhood, in 2007.[6]

Episcopal ministry

On 12 December 2013, it was announced that he was to become the next Bishop of Dudley.[11] He was consecrated on 25 March 2014 by Archbishop Justin Welby at St Paul's Cathedral, London.[3] He was 43 at his appointment, making him the one of the youngest of the current Church of England bishops and the first to have been born in the 1970s.[12][13]

He is one of the Church of England's environmental bishops.[14] Since 2017 he has been a member of the International Commission for Anglican Orthodox Theological Dialogue.[15]

On 3 May 2019, Graham was announced as the next Bishop of Norwich, the diocesan bishop of the Diocese of Norwich.[14] His election was confirmed on 17 June 2019 at St Mary-le-Bow.[16] He will be enthroned as the 72nd Bishop of Norwich in Norwich Cathedral on 9th November 2019 during a very inclusive service which included Down Syndrome dancers, children and refugees participating. Honey cake was served to the 1800 strong congregation made with honey from Bishop Graham's own bees.[17]

Other work

Having completed an undergraduate degree in ecology, Usher continues to have interest in the field. Between 2008 and 2010, he was a member of the Forestry Commission’s Regional Advisory Committee (RAC) for the North East of England. In 2010, he was appointed chairman of the North East RAC.[18] In December 2013, the Regional Advisory Committees changed name to become the Forestry and Woodlands Advisory Committees (FWACs). He continued as chair of the new North East FWAC.[19] He stood down from his role with the Forestry commission following the announcement that he would be joining the episcopate and leaving the North East.[20]

In April 2009, he was appointed a member of the Northumberland National Park Authority by the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.[21][22] In April 2013, he was re-appointed by the Secretary of State to the Northumberland National Park Authority, his previous term having ended, but resigned when he moved from the North East.[23]

In 2012, he contributed an article for the website of the Diocese of Newcastle concerning Ash dieback in the UK.[24] Also in 2012, he published a book titled Places of Enchantment: Meeting God in landscapes. The book concerns the relationship between people, God and the environment; particularly people experiencing God in the natural world, rather than through organised religion such as church services.[25]

In April 2020 he published The Way Under Our Feet: A Spirituality of Walking.

In March 2016, he was appointed a member of the Human Tissue Authority by the Secretary of State for Health.[26]

Personal life

Usher is married to Rachel Thomson, a general practitioner who was also educated at Pocklington School.[5] Together, they have two children.[7]


  1. ^ "Usher, Graham Barham". Who's Who. 2016 (November 2015 online ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc. Retrieved 24 July 2016. (subscription or UK public library membership required)
  2. ^ a b c d e "Graham Barham Usher". Crockford's Clerical Directory (online ed.). Church House Publishing. Retrieved 23 June 2018.
  3. ^ a b "New Bishop of Dudley consecrated at St Paul's". News. St Paul's Cathedral. 26 March 2014. Retrieved 25 December 2014.
  4. ^ a b "The Rt Revd Graham Usher, Bishop of Dudley". Information & Resources. The Diocese of Worcester. Retrieved 24 December 2014.
  5. ^ a b c d "Canon Graham Usher is the new Bishop of Dudley". News. Old Pocklingtonian Association. Retrieved 25 December 2014.
  6. ^ a b c d e f "Suffragan Bishop of Dudley: Graham Barham Usher". Announcements. GOV.UK. 12 December 2013. Retrieved 24 December 2014.
  7. ^ a b c d e f "Graham Usher (m1993) to be the next Bishop of Dudley". Alumni News. Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. 13 December 2013. Retrieved 25 December 2014.
  8. ^ "Canon Graham Usher is the new Bishop of Dudley". BBC News. 12 December 2013. Retrieved 24 December 2014.
  9. ^ a b "Graham Usher to be next Bishop of Dudley". News & Events. The Diocese of Worcester. 12 December 2013. Archived from the original on 12 December 2013. Retrieved 25 December 2014.
  10. ^ "When in Rome – sing, sing, sing!". News. Diocese of Newcastle. November 2009. Retrieved 26 December 2014.
  11. ^ "Next Bishop of Dudley announced". Media Centre. The Church of England. 12 December 2013. Retrieved 25 December 2014.
  12. ^ "New Bishop of Dudley is named as country's youngest". Express and Star. 12 December 2013. Retrieved 25 December 2014.
  13. ^ Compson, Helen (8 January 2014). "Hexham: 'God will give me the wisdom for this role'". Hexham Courant. Archived from the original on 29 December 2014. Retrieved 26 December 2014.
  14. ^ a b "Bishop of Norwich: 3 May 2019". GOV.UK. Prime Minister's Office, 10 Downing Street. 3 May 2019. Retrieved 3 May 2019.
  15. ^ "Communiqué: International Commission for Anglican-Orthodox Theological Dialogue". Anglican News. 27 October 2017. Retrieved 3 May 2019.
  16. ^
  17. ^ "Next Bishop of Norwich announced". Diocese of Norwich. 3 May 2019. Retrieved 3 May 2019.
  18. ^ "Regional forestry leader appointed in the North East". News. Forestry Commission England. 28 January 2010. Retrieved 26 December 2014.
  19. ^ "Forestry and Woodlands Advisory Committees begin business". News. Forestry Commission England. 3 December 2013. Retrieved 26 December 2014.
  20. ^ "Chair Forestry and Woodlands Advisory Committee (FWAC) North East England". January 2014. Retrieved 26 December 2014.
  21. ^ "Rev Canon Graham Usher". Authority Members. Northumberland National Park Authority. Archived from the original on 27 December 2014. Retrieved 26 December 2014.
  22. ^ Smee, Gary (17 December 2013). "New Bishop relishing role". Worcester Observer. Retrieved 26 December 2014.
  23. ^ "Northumberland National Park Authority re-appoints five members". News. Northumberland National Park Authority. 3 May 2013. Archived from the original on 27 December 2014. Retrieved 26 December 2014.
  24. ^ "From winter, plague and pestilence, good Lord, deliver us!". News & Updates. The Diocese of Newcastle. 19 November 2012. Retrieved 26 December 2014.
  25. ^ "Places of Enchantment". Books. SPCK Publishing. September 2012. Archived from the original on 27 December 2014. Retrieved 26 December 2014.
  26. ^ "The HTA welcomes five new Authority members". Human Tissue Authority. 24 March 2016. Retrieved 2 April 2016.

External links

This page was last edited on 20 December 2020, at 02:04
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