Graham James (bishop)

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Graham James
Bishop of Norwich
Official portrait of The Lord Bishop of Norwich crop 2.jpg
ChurchChurch of England
In office1999–2019
PredecessorPeter Nott
SuccessorGraham Usher
Other postsLord Spiritual (2004–2019)
Bishop of St Germans (1993–1999)
Ordination1975 (deacon); 1976 (priest)
by Douglas Feaver
Consecration23 February 1993
by George Carey
Personal details
Born (1951-01-19) 19 January 1951 (age 69)
Bideford, Devon, United Kingdom
ResidenceBishop's House, Norwich
ParentsLionel & Florence James
Julie Freemantle (m. 1978)
Childrenthree (one died)
Alma materLancaster University

Graham Richard James (born 19 January 1951) is a retired British Anglican bishop. He was Bishop of Norwich in the Church of England from 1999 to 2019.

Early life and education[edit]

James was born in Bideford, Devon, the son of a priest Lionel James and his wife Florence. He was educated at Northampton Grammar School, the University of Lancaster, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history in 1972, the University of Oxford, where he received a diploma in theology in 1974 and Cuddesdon Theological College, Oxford.

Ordained ministry[edit]

James was ordained deacon at Michaelmas 1975 (21 September)[1] and priest the next Michaelmas (26 September 1976), both times by Douglas Feaver, Bishop of Peterborough, at Peterborough Cathedral.[2] He was assistant curate of Christ the Carpenter Church, Dogsthorpe[3] from 1975 to 1978. From there he moved to Christ the King, Digswell, from 1979 to 1983, became a member of the Advisory Council for the Church's Ministry in 1983 and held this post until 1987. Between 1983 and 1985, he was Selection Secretary and Secretary for Continuing Education and between 1985 and 1987 Senior Selection Secretary. He was Chaplain to the Archbishop of Canterbury from 1987 to 1993.

Episcopal ministry[edit]

On 23 February 1993, James was consecrated a bishop by George Carey, Archbishop of Canterbury, during a service at Westminster Abbey.[4] He was the Bishop of St Germans in the Diocese of Truro from 1993 to 1999. Since 1995, he has been a member of the General Synod of the Church of England and since 1999 the 71st Bishop of Norwich. He was installed at Norwich Cathedral on 29 January 2000.[5] In 2004, James became a Lord Spiritual and to sit in the House of Lords. Since 2006, he is also a member of the Archbishops' Council and Chair of the Ministry Division, Church of England. He chairs the BBC's Standing Conference on Religion and Belief.

James retired on 28 February 2019.[6] He is a regular contributor to BBC Radio 4's Thought for the Day.[7]

Personal life[edit]

James has been married to Julie Anne Freemantle since 1978. They have two surviving children; another died in infancy.[8]


See also[edit]


  • "DodOnline entry for the Bishop". Dod. Archived from the original on 2006-12-07. Retrieved 2006-11-25.
  1. ^ "September ordinations". Church Times (#5876). 26 September 1975. p. 15. ISSN 0009-658X. Retrieved 6 May 2017 – via UK Press Online archives.
  2. ^ "Ordinations". Church Times (#5929). 1 October 1976. p. 4. ISSN 0009-658X. Retrieved 6 May 2017 – via UK Press Online archives.
  3. ^ A Church Near You. "Christ the Carpenter Church". Retrieved 2009-04-17.
  4. ^ "News: Briefly". Church Times (#6785). 26 February 1993. p. 4. ISSN 0009-658X. Retrieved 11 October 2015 – via UK Press Online archives.
  5. ^ Bishop of Norwich, Graham James (Diocese of Norwich)
  6. ^ Diocese of Norwich — Bishop of Norwich (Accessed 23 March 2019)
  7. ^ Mantell, Rowan. "Bishop Graham James says goodbye to Norfolk". EDP Norfolk Magazine.
  8. ^ "Norwich Bishop's grief over daughter's death". Network Norwich and Norfolk. 17 December 2009. Retrieved 12 August 2016.
Church of England titles
Preceded by
Richard Llewellin
Bishop of St Germans
Succeeded by
Roy Screech
Preceded by
Peter Nott
Bishop of Norwich
Succeeded by
Graham Usher