67th Bishop of Carlisle announced

The Queen has approved the nomination of the Right Reverend James William Scobie Newcome, at present Suffragan Bishop of Penrith, as Bishop of Carlisle.

Bishop James formally takes up his appointment at a service traditionally called an enthronement - we expect this to happen in the Autumn. The plan is that Bishop James continues, as he has been doing since Bishop Graham retired in April, to give episcopal leadership to the Diocese until the beginning of August, when he has leave booked, which he will extend until mid September.


Bishop James said,
"I am delighted - and so is Alison - to be staying in Cumbria among the people whom we have come to love so much. I am also deeply conscious both of the privilege and responsibility of this new post. After seven years as Bishop of Penrith I have begun to appreciate some of the opportunities as well as the challenges of leadership in Carlisle Diocese. As Bishop of Carlisle I will hope to be a Bishop for the County as well as the Church.

This means that I will attempt to engage with and support our farmers as well as our teachers, and our tourism industry as well as our nuclear industry. I will be trying to develop and deepen links with our MP's, emergency services and local government. In particular I look forward to further immersion in Cumbria's wonderful artistic heritage, literary as well as visual.

At the same time my chief task - and pleasure - will be to work with an excellent team which is absolutely committed to the growth of God's church. Our vision is for growth in spiritual depth; care for the community; mutual support; ecumenical co-operation and numbers. Much has already been achieved, and I look forward to building on some firm foundations. It is an exciting prospect, and I am profoundly grateful for the trust that others have placed in me."



In welcoming his nomination, Chairman of the Vacancy in See Committee the Venerable George Howe, Archdeacon of Westmorland and Furness, said:
"The consultation in the diocese revealed considerable support for Bishop James, so the announcement of his appointment today will be warmly welcomed. That support was rigorously tested, and the Bishop of Penrith was considered alongside a number of other people. He clearly emerged, through a careful process, as the best man for the job.

Not only is he best placed to deliver the continuity we seek in reviving and growing the Church; but he will also bring fresh leadership and enthusiasm for an important renewal of our engagement with society at large. So this is great news for the Church and for the County, and I am personally delighted."

The other members of the senior staff team - the Dean, the Archdeacons of Carlisle, and of West Cumberland, the Diocesan Secretary, and the Director of Ministry and Training - also very warmly welcomed the appointment, and continued collaboration and friendship with Bishop James and Alison.


The announcement was made initially at Carlisle Cathedral, where Bishop James, with his wife Alison, met

  • the Dean,
  • the Archdeacons and Diocesan Secretary
  • members of the Cathedral Chapter,
  • the Acting Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cumbria (Neil Harris)
  • the Mayor and Mayoress of Carlisle
  • Andy Beeforth, chief executive of Cumbria Community Foundation
  • the Revd Richard Teal, Methodist District Chairman

Bishop James and Alison then travelled to Sellafield, where they met

  • Mike Johnson, Production Director, Sellafield Ltd
  • Tony Cunningham, MP
  • Mgr Patrick Mulvany, Vicar General of the (RC) Diocese of Lancaster
  • Chief Superintendent Kevin McGilloway representing the Chief Constable

Bishop James and Alison then travelled via Hardknott Pass and Wrynose Pass (stopping at the Three Counties Stone) to the Wordsworth Centre, Grasmere, where they met

  • Mrs Pamela Woof, FRSL, President of the Wordsworth Trust
  • Michael McGregor, Director of the Wordsworth Trust
  • Jeff Cowton, Curator, and Andrew Forster, Literature Officer, the Wordsworth Trust
  • the Lord Lieutenenant
  • Cllr Tom Clare, Chairman Cumbria County Council
  • Ms Vivienne Rees, representing the Lake District National Park
  • Aline Fisher & Jonty Willis & Ruth Chamley of Drench, a youth congregation at St Thomas, Kendal

The programme was designed to reflect Bishop James' interests in the County and the Arts, and in the institutions of the County - the University, Civic authorities, Members of Parliament, Cumbria Community Foundation, sister churches, the Police and the other emergency services, young people, Sellafield and other industries, farming.



click here to download Bishop James' biography
click here to download a picture of Bishop James at Dove Cottage NB >1Mb
click here to download a picture of Bishop James at Three Shires Stone NB >1Mb
click here to download a picture of Bishop James at Sellafield NB >1Mb