Martin Wharton

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The Right Reverend
Martin Wharton
Bishop of Newcastle
Church Church of England
Diocese Diocese of Newcastle
In office 1997–30 November 2014 (retired)
Predecessor Andrew Graham
Successor Christine Hardman
Other posts Area Bishop of Kingston (1992–1997)
Ordination 1972[1]
Consecration c. 1992
Personal details
Born (1944-08-06) 6 August 1944 (age 73)
Ulverston, Lancashire
Nationality British
Denomination Anglican
Parents John Wharton & Marjorie Skinner
Spouse Marlene Duckett (1970—present)
Children One daughter, two sons
Alma mater Van 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[edit]

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[edit]

Wharton was curate of St Peter's Church, Spring Hill, Birmingham, from 1972 to 1975 and of St John the Baptist, Croydon, 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 became area Bishop of Kingston-upon-Thames and held this post until 1997, when he was appointed the 11th Bishop of Newcastle.

Other work[edit]

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.[3] By 13 February, a serving bishop (Alan Wilson, Bishop of Buckingham) and nine further retired bishops had added their signatures;[4] on 15 February, the report was rejected by synod.[5]

Personal life[edit]

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.[6]




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