The present bishop of our diocese is the Right Reverend Mark Strange.
Bishop Mark was brought up in Aberdeen, attending Hazlehead Academy before moving on to study Theology at Aberdeen University. As a boy Bishop Mark had two great loves, one was scouting and the other was performing, either on stage or as a chorister in St Andrew’s, Cathedral. Mark’s connection to the Cathedral included the youth club, the badminton club, serving and as one of the youngest members of the vestry.
Mark met Jane while she was studying English at the University. Jane comes from Padiham in Lancashire and was brought up in a devout Roman Catholic family, she remembers looking at the map when she got a place at Aberdeen and just seeing the railway line going on for ever!
They were married in 1983 and before long found themselves without a home or without work and for two years they travelled from place to place looking for employment. Ultimately they arrived in Worcester where the Archdeacon was the father of an old friend, a job as Cathedral verger soon followed for Mark while Jane became a shop assistant for Thorntons. A second trip to selection conference saw Mark and Jane off to Lincoln Theological College, Jane once again working in a variety of places to fund Mark’s training.
Mark was ordained Deacon in Worcester Cathedral and served his title in the parish of St Barnabas, Rainbow Hill with Christchurch, Tolladine. This was a large parish of red brick terraces and council estates on the edge of the city. It was here that both Mark and Jane cut their teeth on youth work and pastoral care. This ministry led to Mark being invited to become Vicar of St Wulstan’s, Church Warndon a parish of 18,000 on one large council scheme. Mark spent six years there rebuilding the congregation and developing lay ministries and mission outreach.
At the end of this time Mark was invited by the then Bishop of Moray, Ross and Caithness to apply for Elgin. Mark and Jane moved to Moray and spent ten years working with the communities of Elgin and Lossiemouth eventually joined by Dufftown and Aberlour. On 13 October 2007 Mark was consecrated as the ninth Bishop Of Moray, Ross and Caithness.
The Bishop’s family now live in the Rectory at St John’s Arpafeelie. Jane having retrained as a primary school teacher and working in a variety of schools, continues to develop a ministry of hospitality. They have three children Aidan, Beth and Mara. Aidan is at University in Cumbria studying Musical Theatre while the girls are at Fortrose Academy.
Bishop Mark and Jane love nothing more than an evening spent in good company with a small sensation from a local distillery.
The Bishop’s Diary