Jarrow has its first woman bishop - who is she?

For the first time a woman has been appointed as the Bishop of Jarrow.

Thursday, 20th December 2018, 10:44 am
Updated Friday, 21st December 2018, 8:43 am
Paul Butler, Bishop of Durham with the Sarah Clark Bishop of Jarrow. Picture by: Keith Blundy.

The Venerable Canon Sarah Clark is the new Bishop of Jarrow Designate, Downing Street have confirmed.

The 53-year-old from South Wales, is currently the Archdeacon of Nottingham, in the Diocese of Southwell and Nottingham, a post she has held since October 2014.

The Venerable Sarah Clark has been announced as Bishop of Jarrow Designate. Photo by Keith Blundy.

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A former Civil Servant in the Department for Employment, Sarah was ordained at Southwell Minister in 1998 and has held several appointments in the Diocese.

She said: “I grew up in South Wales in the 70s and early 80s, and I was the first generation to go to university, which is why I left.

"My grandfathers were miners and so was my father in his 20s until he went to work for ICI.

"My parents still live in the same house I grew up in, in the same community that my father went onto represent as a local councillor.

Sarah Clark, Bishop of Jarrow Designate. Picture by Keith Blundy.

“I was taught the importance of giving to your community and looking out for those who were struggling long before I came to faith in Jesus Christ.

"When I was growing up, open cast mining had been finished for some years but as usual, the slag heaps or the waste as we called it remained.

"It’s all grown over now with its own beauty and I was strongly reminded of home when I recently visited Easington pit top.”

Sarah continued: “In my current role, I have had responsibility for the development of 25 of our larger local churches across the whole Diocese to be resourcing churches who grow with the aim of giving themselves away through planting new worshipping communities and helping to resource the renewal of existing churches.

"All this we do as we seek to serve our communities and welcome new disciples of Jesus into our Christian family.

“I am very much looking forward to using those experiences in my new role and in helping the Diocese of Durham in its vision to ‘Bless our communities in Jesus’ name for the transformation of us all.

"That resonates so strongly with me and I will work and be witness to that vision in all I am and all I do as Bishop of Jarrow."

As Bishop of Jarrow, Sarah will take on responsibility for those considering and in training for ordination within the Diocese.

Commenting on the announcement, The Rt Revd Paul Butler, Bishop of Durham said: “I am delighted that the Queen has confirmed the appointment of Sarah as the next Bishop of Jarrow Designate.

She will be formally consecrated as Bishop by the Archbishop of York at 10 am on Wednesday, February 27, at York Minster and will be formally welcomed into the Diocese in at a service of welcome in Durham Cathedral during a setting of Evensong on Sunday, April 7, at 3.30 pm.

Commenting on the announcement, The Rt Revd Paul Butler, Bishop of Durham said: “I am delighted that the Queen has confirmed the appointment of Sarah as the next Bishop of Jarrow Designate.

”I had the pleasure of working with Sarah whilst I was Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham and I know that she will be a great advocate for the communities of our diocese, bring with her a tremendous set of skills and experiences that will help us in our ambitions.

“I know Sarah will bring rich gifts in helping people discover and discern their God-given calling, including to ordination.

"She will also bring a deep commitment to our three priorities of children and young people, tackling poverty together and growing the church in depth, engagement with communities and number.”

The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu said: “I am most grateful to Her Majesty The Queen for her approval of the Venerable Sarah Clark as the new Bishop of Jarrow.

"We warmly welcome Sarah to the North East. Sarah is deeply committed to serving local communities, serving local people and will be sharing the good news of Jesus Christ with all whom she encounters”.