Bishop Helen-Ann Hartley

Dr Helen-Ann Hartley appointed youngest diocesan bishop in the Church of England

4 November 2022

Worcester alumna and Honorary Fellow, The Rt Revd Dr Helen-Ann Hartley (1998, Theology), has been appointed the next Bishop of Newcastle. This office is particularly pertinent to Worcester, as former Chaplain Alec Graham served as Bishop of Newcastle from 1981-1997. Bishop Alec died in 2021, leaving the College a legacy to secure the future of our teaching and research in theology.

Bishop Helen-Ann was the first woman who had trained and served as a priest in the Church of England to become an Anglican bishop, being consecrated as Bishop of Waikato in New Zealand in 2014. Since 2018, she has served as Bishop of Ripon and was the youngest Bishop in the Church of England when appointed. In her new role, Bishop Helen-Ann will be the youngest diocesan bishop and will take up a seat in the House of Lords when the next vacancy arises.

 Bishop Helen-Ann was born in Edinburgh and grew up in Sunderland. After studies at St Andrews and Princeton, she came to Worcester for graduate study in 1998  and completed her DPhil in 2005. She was ordained as a deacon in Christ Church Cathedral the same year and served as curate in Wheatley and Littlemore. Before moving to New Zealand, she was a lecturer and later Director of Biblical Studies at Ripon College Cuddesdon. She was made an Honorary Fellow of Worcester College in 2016.      

Commenting on her appointment, the Archbishop of York said: "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."

You can read an interview with Bishop Helen-Ann about her new appointment in Church Times.