Special Evensong to welcome new Bishop

03 May 2019
A special Evensong will take place at Norwich Cathedral to welcome the new Bishop of Norwich. The Rt Revd Graham Usher, who is currently the Bishop of Dudley, will become the 72nd Bishop of Norwich.

All are welcome to attend tonight's (Friday 3 May) special Evensong which will take place at 5.30pm.

Following the service, Bishop Graham will give a blessing and there will be coffee and cake for which those present are welcome to stay.

The Dean of Norwich, the Very Revd Jane Hedges said: "On behalf of the whole Cathedral community I am delighted to hear of the appointment of our new Bishop and we very much look forward to getting to know him and his family and to working with him. We hope he will feel very welcome here in the Diocese of Norwich.”

Bishop Graham will be formally enthroned as Bishop of Norwich at Norwich Cathedral in late autumn and he will begin his public ministry in the Diocese of Norwich following this. The date and time of the service, to which all are welcome, will be released in due course.

As Bishop of Dudley since 2014, Bishop Graham has served the people of the Diocese of Worcester, working particularly in the areas of clergy wellbeing and vocation, parish mission weekends and pilgrimage walks, leading on safeguarding, establishing two resourcing churches, and supporting ministry in schools.  He has chaired the Churches’ Housing Association of Dudley and District which provides the women’s refuge, housing for homeless teenagers, and residential support for elderly people who live with long-term mental ill health. Within the civic life of Dudley he has served as Dudley Council’s Independent Person for standards and led the community strand of the ‘Forging Ahead’ vision for Dudley.

Bishop Graham maintains an interest in ecology as a member of the Church of England’s Environmental Working Group and in medical ethics as a board member of the Human Tissue Authority.  He is a member of the International Commission for Anglican Orthodox Theological Dialogue.  He is a keen beekeeper and regularly tweets @bishopdudley.  He has written about spirituality and landscape: Places of Enchantment, Meeting God in Landscapes

You can watch his initial remarks following the announcement on YouTube at https://youtu.be/tycJgGJAqhs, where he talks about the awe-inspiring Christian faith, the Christ-like humility we seek as Christians, and the calling of the Church to offer all that it can in love.  “I’m looking forward to leading a diocese that seeks, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to inspire the imagination of more people, especially the young, about the Christian faith.”

Bishop Graham is married to Rachel, a GP, and they have two teenage children.  He studied ecological science at the University of Edinburgh and theology at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, before training for ministry at Westcott House, Cambridge.  Following his ordination as a deacon in 1996, he began his ministry in Middlesbrough in the Diocese of York, first as curate at St Mary the Virgin, Nunthorpe, and then as Vicar of Holy Trinity, North Ormesby, a parish with severe levels of social need and child poverty.  In 2004 he became Rector of Hexham in the Diocese of Newcastle and had the additional responsibility of being Area Dean of Hexham between 2006 and 2011.  In 2007 he was also appointed Honorary Canon of St Cyprian’s Cathedral in Kumasi, Ghana, the place of his early childhood.