Bishop Stephen Wright, Fifteenth Bishop of Hexham & Newcastle
Bishop Stephen James Lawrence Wright was born in Stafford, in the Archdiocese of Birmingham, on 9th October 1970. He attended the Bower Norris RC Primary School, (now called Blessed Mother Theresa RC Primary School) and then the Blessed William Howard RC Secondary School, both in Stafford.
After obtaining a LLB (Hons) Degree in Law from the University of Leicester (1992) he qualified as a Barrister, called to the Bar at Lincoln’s Inn on the 14th October 1993. He completed his studies for preparation for the priesthood, first at Saint Mary’s College, Oscott, Birmingham (1993-1995), and then at the Venerable English College in Rome (1995-2000), where he was awarded a Licentiate in Dogmatic Theology, STL, from the Pontifical Gregorian University in 2000.
On the 9th September 2000, he was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Birmingham in his home Parish Church of Saint Austin’s, Stafford. He subsequently held the following offices: Assistant Priest at Corpus Christi Parish, Stechford, Birmingham and Chaplain to Archbishop Ilsley RC Secondary School, Birmingham (2000-2003); Assistant Priest at Saint John the Evangelist and Saint Joseph the Worker parishes, Banbury (2003-2004); Parish Priest at Saint Joseph the Worker Parish, Banbury (2004-2007) and Chaplain to Blessed George Napier RC Secondary School, Banbury (2003-2007); Parish Priest at Saint Mary and Saint Modwen Parish, Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire (2007-2019) and Chaplain to Burton Hospital (2007-2012); Episcopal Vicar for Religious (2012-2019) and a member of the Archbishop’s Council (2012- present). He was installed into the Chapter of Canons at Saint Chad’s Cathedral, Birmingham on the 2nd March 2020. He has been a member of the Diocesan Safeguarding Commission and in 2018 was appointed the diocesan co-ordinator for the preparation and participation in the statutory IICSA Case Study Inquiry into the Archdiocese of Birmingham. Since that time, he has worked alongside the Safeguarding Team and Commission, the Archbishop, Trustees, and the Chief Operating Officer in implementing the action plans recommended by the IICSA Inquiry and other audits and reports to improve safeguarding culture, capacity, and procedures. Bishop Stephen served as Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Birmingham from September 2019 until September 2020. He has been a Trustee of the Archdiocese of Birmingham since September 2019.
Pope Francis appointed him Assistant Bishop in the Archdiocese of Birmingham on the 18th March 2020, with the Titular See of Bishop of Ramsbiriensis seu Corvinensis (Ramsbury). Due to the COVID pandemic he was not ordained until the 9th October 2020 at Saint Chad’s Cathedral, Birmingham. The consecrating bishops being Archbishop Bernard Longley, Bishop David McGough and Bishop William Kenney.
Since his Episcopal Ordination, Bishop Stephen has been the Area Bishop for the northern part of the Archdiocese of Birmingham, serving the parishes, schools and communities in Staffordshire and the Black Country. By a gracious invitation he is an Ecumenical Canon at Lichfield Cathedral. He is Chair of Trustees of the Diocesan Kenelm Youth Trust. He was appointed a Bishop Trustee of CAFOD in 2021 and became Chair of Trustees of CAFOD in April 2023. Bishop Stephen is also a Trustee of Caritas Social Action Network (CSAN) and the Churches Legislation Advisory Service (CLAS). He is a member of the Bishops’ Advisory Panel supporting Bishop Paul Mason as Lead Safeguarding Bishop in the work of the Catholic Safeguarding Standards Agency (CSSA). He is a member of the Social Justice Department of the Bishops Conference with a focus on human rights and criminal/civil law matters.
Pope Francis appointed Bishop Stephen the Fifteenth Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle on 14 June 2023. The Episcopal Installation of the Right Reverend Stephen Wright took place at the Cathedral Church of St Mary, Newcastle on Wednesday 19 July 2023.