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New Bishop of Dudley is named as country's youngest

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Dudley's new bishop - announced today by 10 Downing Street and approved by the Queen - is a 43-year-old father of two.

The Rev Canon Graham Usher - who will be the youngest bishop in the country - will step into the shoes of 56-year-old Rt Rev David Walker, who moved from Dudley to Manchester in October.

Today Mr Usher was welcomed to the Black Country borough by leading clergy, civic dignitaries and children at Jessons Church of England Primary School in Dudley.

He also visited the borough's food bank in Halesowen.

Mr Usher, who is married to Rachel, a GP, will be ordained bishop at St Paul's Cathedral on March 25 before beginning his ministry with the Diocese of Worcester after Easter.

His children are Chad, aged 13, and Olivia, 11, and in his spare time he enjoys hill walking, drawing and writing.

He was ordained in 1996 and is currently rector and lecturer at Hexham Abbey, in the Diocese of Newcastle.

Before that, he worked in inner city Teesside and has also spent time living and working in Ghana, Africa, where he grew up.

Bishop of Worcester, the Rt Rev Dr John Inge, described him as 'an exceptionally able priest'.

On his appointment today, Mr Usher said: "I am honoured, delighted and not a little daunted to have been asked to become the next Bishop of Dudley.

"I am greatly looking forward to getting to know the people and places of the Black Country and the wider Diocese of Worcester, as well as working with and learning from Bishop John, the clergy and people of the Diocese. "Together I believe that we have an incredible story to tell as we share the life of Jesus and, in partnership with others, look to ways to daily bring God's love, justice and peace to the communities we serve."

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