Detailed Pedia

Martin Wharton

Martin Wharton

Bishop of Newcastle
ChurchChurch of England
DioceseDiocese of Newcastle
In office1997–30 November 2014 (retired)
PredecessorAndrew Graham
SuccessorChristine Hardman
Other postsArea Bishop of Kingston (1992–1997)
Consecration3 November 1992
Personal details
Born (1944-08-06) 6 August 1944 (age 75)
Ulverston, Lancashire
ParentsJohn Wharton & Marjorie Skinner
SpouseMarlene Duckett (1970—present)
ChildrenOne daughter, two sons
Alma materVan Mildert College, Durham

John Martin Wharton, CBE (born 6 August 1944) is a British Anglican bishop, a retired Bishop of Newcastle.

Early life and education

Wharton was born in Ulverston, Lancashire, the son of John Wharton and Marjorie Skinner. e was educated at Ulverston Grammar School and Van Mildert College, Durham where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in economics, politics and sociology in 1969. He was further educated at Linacre College, Oxford, where he received a Bachelor of Theology (BTh) and an Oxford Master of Arts (MA Oxon) in 1971, as well as at Ripon Hall, Oxford.[2]


Ordained ministry

Wharton was curate of St Peter's Church, Spring Hill, Birmingham, from 1972 to 1975 and of St John the Baptist, Croydon (now Croydon Minster), from 1975 to 1977. Between 1977 and 1983 he was Director of Pastoral Studies at Ripon College Cuddesdon, Oxford. He was additionally a curate of the Church of All Saints, Cuddesdon from 1979 to 1983. Between 1983 and 1992 he was the Director of Ministry and Training in the Diocese of Bradford and a residentiary canon of Bradford Cathedral. In 1992, Wharton was consecrated a bishop by George Carey, Archbishop of Canterbury, at Southwark Cathedral on 3 November 1992,[3] to become area Bishop of Kingston-upon-Thames; he held that post until 1997, when he was appointed the 11th Bishop of Newcastle.

Other work

Wharton is a trustee of St Hilda's Trust, of the Northumbria Historic Churches Trust and The Hild Bede Trust. He is also trustee of the Shepherds Law Hermitage Trust and the Newcastle Diocesan Society. He served for ten years as Chair of Governors of St Chad's College, Durham. The college made him an honorary fellow in 2010.


On 11 February 2017, Wharton was one of fourteen retired bishops to sign an open letter to the then-serving bishops of the Church of England. In an unprecedented move, they expressed their opposition to the House of Bishops' report to General Synod on sexuality, which recommended no change to the Church's canons or practises around sexuality.[4] By 13 February, a serving bishop (Alan Wilson, Bishop of Buckingham) and nine further retired bishops had added their signatures;[5] on 15 February, the report was rejected by synod.[6]

Personal life

Since 1970, he has been married to Marlene Olive Duckett. They have one daughter and two sons.

Wharton was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2011 New Year Honours for services to the Church of England and to the community in the North East.[7]



  1. ^ Diocese of Newcastle — Bishop Martin Archived 10 April 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ St Chad's — Fellows Archived 26 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "Bradford man rejoins his old diocesan". Church Times (#6752). 10 July 1992. p. 2. ISSN 0009-658X. Retrieved 17 April 2019 – via UK Press Online archives. & "picture caption". Church Times (#6770). 13 November 1992. p. 4. ISSN 0009-658X. Retrieved 17 April 2019 – via UK Press Online archives.
  4. ^ Retired Bishops' Letter — The Letter (Accessed 11 February 2017; the fourteen bishops were David Atkinson, Michael Doe, Tim Ellis, David Gillett, John Gladwin, Laurie Green, Richard Harries, Stephen Lowe, Stephen Platten, John Pritchard, Peter Selby, Tim Stevens, Wharton, and Roy Williamson.)
  5. ^ Retired Bishops' Letter — New Signatures (Accessed 17 February 2017; the nine bishops were Gordon Bates, Ian Brackley, John Davies, Peter Maurice, David Rossdale, John Saxbee, Martin Shaw, Oliver Simon, and David Stancliffe.
  6. ^ The Grauniad — Church of England in turmoil as synod rejects report on same-sex relationships (Accessed 17 February 2017)
  7. ^ "No. 59647". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 2010. p. 8.
  8. ^ The Independent — Church appointments, 11 July 1992


Church of England titles
Preceded by
Peter Selby
Bishop of Kingston-upon-Thames
Succeeded by
Peter Price
Preceded by
Andrew Graham
Bishop of Newcastle
Succeeded by
Christine Hardman

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