The Bishop of Dudley
Rt Revd Graham Usher
0121 550 3407
The role of the Bishop of Dudley
The Bishop of Dudley shares with the Bishop of Worcester in the episcopal oversight and leadership of the whole diocese.
He is a presence within the Metropolitan Borough of Dudley where he is involved across a range of private, public and voluntary sector initiatives.
Within the diocese he shares with Bishop John in the care of the clergy, licensing and instituting priests, and conducting confirmations, ordinations and pastoral visitations. He has a particular oversight for safeguarding, ministry, spirituality and education.
Bishop Graham, as a member of the College of Bishops, plays a part in serving the wider church, reflecting and speaking about issues affecting human flourishing, including about the environment and the bioethics around the use of human tissue, and encouraging ways in which the Christian Gospel can be enjoyed, celebrated and shared.
The Rt Revd Graham Usher was born in 1970 and spent his early life growing up in Ghana. He was educated at Pocklington School in Yorkshire and then studied for a BSc Ecological Science (Ecology) at Edinburgh University followed by gaining a degree in Theology at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge whilst training for ordination at Westcott House, Cambridge.
After his ordination in 1996, Graham served his curacy at St Mary's Nunthorpe in the Diocese of York, a large commuter suburb of Middlesbrough with four congregations and a significant amount of youth work. While there, Graham spent time as a Sessional Chaplain at HM Remand Centre at Northallerton, working with young offenders, and became a part-time producer with BBC Radio Cleveland, working on their Sunday religious news programme.
From there Graham moved to be Vicar of Holy Trinity in North Ormesby, Middlesbrough - at that time one of England's 2% most deprived communities, experiencing considerable poverty and social exclusion. A focus on the Church and community led to a growth in the congregation and the development and completion of a flagship community facility, The Trinity Centre, which was awarded HRH The Duke of York's Community Initiative Award.
In 2004, Graham moved to become Rector and Lecturer of Hexham. Hexham Abbey is part of the Greater Churches' Network and, whilst very much a parish church, has some of the outreach and facets found in many cathedrals.
Graham worked with the congregation and partners to develop a vision for the Abbey and its community, and during his ten years there the congregation grew significantly, links with the town and county increased, and the Abbey was reunited with its historic monastic buildings which were taken from it at the Reformation. Graham was also Area Dean for five years from 2006.
Bishop Graham was ordained as fifth Bishop of Dudley in March 2014.
In 2012, Graham's book: Places of Enchantment - Meeting God in Landscapes was published by SPCK. He continues to write for a range of publications, generally on environmental themes.
Life & interests
Alongside his parish responsibilities, Bishop Graham was a Lay Member of the Governance and Access Committee of the Newcastle Biomedicine Biobank at Newcastle University, where he was involved in ethical decisions about human tissue storage.
He was also Chairman of the Northeast Forestry and Woodlands Advisory Committee of the Forestry Commission and a Secretary of State appointee to the Northumberland National Park Authority.
Earlier in his life Graham was a national trustee of the Scout Association, was involved in the governance of the Duke of Edinburgh's Award, and was a director of the Bible Reading Fellowship.
Bishop Graham is one of the Church of England’s environmental bishops and in 2016 was appointed as an Authority Member to the Human Tissue Authority by the Secretary of State for Health. Locally he chairs the board of CHADD (Church Housing Association in Dudley and District) which provides housing a care for vulnerable young people, elderly people with long term mental illness, and people affected by domestic violence.
Bishop Graham is married to Rachel, a GP, and they have two teenage children, Chad and Olivia. In his spare time he enjoys hill walking, drawing, writing and the company of friends.