James Newcome

Bishop of Carlisle
Official portrait of The Lord Bishop of Carlisle crop 2, 2019.jpg
The Lord Bishop of Carlisle, 2019
ChurchChurch of England
DioceseDiocese of Carlisle
In office2009–present
PredecessorGraham Dow
Other post(s)Bishop of Penrith (2002–2009)
Clerk of the Closet (2014–present)
Ordination24 September 1978 (deacon)
30 September 1979 (priest)
by Robert Runcie
Consecration19 March 2002
Personal details
Born (1953-07-24) 24 July 1953 (age 68)
ResidenceBishop's House, Keswick[1]
(m. 1977)
Occupationformer ambulance driver
Professionformer military officer
Alma materTrinity College, Oxford
Member of the House of Lords
(Lord Spiritual)
Assumed office
23 October 2013

James William Scobie Newcome, DL (born 24 July 1953) is an English Anglican bishop and Lord Spiritual. Since 2009, he has been the Bishop of Carlisle, the diocesan bishop of the Diocese of Carlisle. He has been a member of the House of Lords as a Lord Spiritual since October 2013. From 2002 to 2009, he was the Bishop of Penrith, a suffragan bishop in the Diocese of Carlisle.

Early life

He was born in Aldershot, the son of an officer in the Royal Artillery. As a result of his father's army postings, he spent time in Malta and Germany during his childhood. He then attended Marlborough College from 1966 to 1971, where he was Senior Prefect, and worked for Community Service Volunteers in children's homes in Nottinghamshire.

In 1971, he matriculated into Trinity College, Oxford to study modern history. He won the University of Oxford history of art prize in 1972.[2] He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in 1974; his BA was promoted to Master of Arts (MA Oxon) degree in 1978.[3]

He was commissioned as a second lieutenant on the General List of the Territorial Army on 23 May 1974.[4] He then spent a year working as an ambulance driver in Stevenage. He later resigned his TA commission on 8 July 1977.[5]

From 1975, he studied at the University of Cambridge, where he read theology at Selwyn College, Cambridge, whilst also preparing for ordination at Ridley Hall, Cambridge.[2] He graduated Bachelor of Arts (BA) in 1977; this was promoted to Master of Arts (MA Cantab) in 1981.[3]

Ordained ministry

Newcome was ordained a deacon at Michaelmas 1978 (24 September) at St Mary's, Watford[6] and a priest the following Michaelmas (30 September 1979) at St Albans Cathedral – both times by Robert Runcie when he was Bishop of St Albans.[7] His ordained ministry began as a curate at All Saints' Leavesden in the Diocese of St Albans.[8] He was ordained a priest in 1979 and remained at All Saints until 1982.[2]

Newcome was then appointed Vicar of Bar Hill and Dry Drayton in the Diocese of Ely in 1982. He also became a tutor and lecturer in Pastoral Theology, Ethics and Integrating Theology at the Cambridge Federation of Theological Colleges from 1983 to 1988. He was Rural Dean of the North Stowe Deanery from 1988 to 1994. In 1994 he was appointed a canon residentiary at Chester Cathedral also holding the Diocesan posts of Director of Ordinands from 1994 to 2000 and Director of Ministry, Education and Training from 1996 to 2002.[2]

Episcopal ministry

In March 2002, Newcome was appointed Bishop of Penrith, a suffragan bishop in the Diocese of Carlisle;[9] he was consecrated a bishop at York Minster on 19 March 2002.[10] In May 2009, he was announced as the next Bishop of Carlisle, the diocesan bishop of the Diocese of Carlisle. He was enthroned at Carlisle Cathedral on 10 October 2009.[11]

On 3 October 2013, Newcome joined the House of Lords as a Lord Spiritual.[12]

On 17 November 2014, it was announced that Newcome had been appointed Clerk of the Closet.[13] As such, he is head of the College of Chaplains of the Ecclesiastical Household and he undertakes a number of ceremonial roles such as presenting new diocesan bishops to the monarch.[14] He is also a senior advisor to the sovereign on spiritual affairs.

(2016) now chaplain to the Royal British Legion. Officiated at the 2016, 2017 and 2018 Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall.

Personal life

Newcome married Alison, a health visitor, in 1977, and they have four adult children. He is a keen amateur runner, squash player and hill walker, and also enjoys films and restoring furniture.[2][15]

He was a governor of St. Bees School which announced that, after 432 years, it was closing in March 2015. It reopened in 2018.

In 2009 Newcome appeared on the television programme Help! I Caught it Abroad with a tick, which he had acquired in a remote part of Argentina, attached to his leg.[16]



  1. ^ Diocese of Carlise – Bishops
  2. ^ a b c d e Diocese of Carlisle – Biography of Bishop James Archived 16 August 2010 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved on 2 June 2009
  3. ^ a b "Newcome, James William Scobie". Who's Who. ukwhoswho.com. Vol. 2017 (November 2016 online ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc. Retrieved 10 June 2017. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  4. ^ "No. 46398". The London Gazette. 11 November 1974. p. 11002.
  5. ^ "No. 47333". The London Gazette. 26 September 1977. p. 12217.
  6. ^ "Michaelmas ordinations". Church Times. No. 6033. 29 September 1978. p. 5. ISSN 0009-658X. Retrieved 8 June 2017 – via UK Press Online archives.
  7. ^ "Ordinations". Church Times. No. 6087. 12 October 1979. p. 4. ISSN 0009-658X. Retrieved 8 June 2017 – via UK Press Online archives.
  8. ^ Church details
  9. ^ "No. 56515". The London Gazette. 21 March 2002. p. 3541.
  10. ^ [1] (Accessed 8 June 2017)
  11. ^ Westmorland Gazette – New Bishop of Carlisle is set to be enthroned
  12. ^ "Bishop of Carlisle". Members of the House of Lords. Retrieved 14 February 2016.
  13. ^ Anglican Communion News Service – Bishop of Carlisle appointed to royal role (Accessed 17 November 2014)
  14. ^ "Bishop of Carlisle's honorary role by royal appointment". Diocese of Carlisle. Retrieved 14 February 2016.
  15. ^ Debrett's People of Today London, 2008 Debrett's, ISBN 978-1-870520-95-9
  16. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 19 April 2016. Retrieved 17 October 2015.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
Church of England titles Preceded byRichard Garrard Bishop of Penrith 2002–2009 Succeeded byRobert Freeman Preceded byGraham Dow Bishop of Carlisle 2009–present Incumbent Preceded byChristopher Hill Clerk of the Closet 2014–present Incumbent