Bishop Mark said: “I shall be 69 in October and will have been Bishop of Jarrow for just over eleven wonderful and happy years and that seems to be a good time to retire and move onto the next stage of life.
“In recent weeks I have become ever more aware of what an extraordinary blessing it has been to be allowed to live in the North East and to be amongst its people for these past eleven years.
“I shall celebrate the Eucharist for the last time in Durham Cathedral on the afternoon of Sunday September 23rd.
“People across the region have been extremely generous with their prayers for me over the past eleven years and I wonder if Elisabeth and I might trespass on your kindness a little longer by asking that they continue to pray for us as we prepare to make what feels like quite a significant transition.”
The Rt Revd Paul Butler, Bishop of Durham said: “Bishop Mark has been a great servant to the Diocese and the region over these last eleven years and I want to personally thank him on behalf of the whole Diocese for everything he has done, for the energies he has brought to being Bishop of Jarrow and to his ministry here in the North East.
“I want to particularly highlight Bishop Mark’s leading role in helping people discern vocation to ordination and also his championing of poverty issues. I also want to pay tribute to Bishop Mark’s wife Elisabeth for her own work, her support of clergy spouses, and for all her support of Bishop Mark’s ministry throughout the years.”
The work to find the next Bishop of Jarrow will start in due course and further details will be announced as appropriate.