Downing Street today announced that the The Rt Revd Paul Butler has been appointed Bishop of Durham.
Currently Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham, Bishop Paul said that he was very much looking forward to coming to the North East and continuing the work started by the previous Bishop of Durham, The Most Reverend Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury. He said: “To be called to become Bishop of Durham came as a big surprise but is a huge privilege for many reasons. This ancient Diocese goes way back before England was a united nation. The heritage is extraordinary; each new Bishop of Durham stands on the shoulders of some of the greatest Christians in this country’s long and proud history.”
Among these great Christians is St Cuthbert, buried at Durham Cathedral, who was guest master at the Monastery here in Ripon. Cuthbert is commemorated on the site of Ripon’s Monastery by a cross which lies at the edge of the playing field of Ripon Cathedral School (pictured).
“We welcome Bishop Paul to his new role in the North of England,” said Canon Keith Punshon, Sub-Dean of Ripon Cathedral, “and especially to Durham whose Cathedral we are linked to through St Cuthbert. The North of England has a deep tradition of Christian Mission stretching way back to the times of saints such as Cuthbert and beyond. We are delighted that Paul has been called as our brother in mission in the North of England.”
“This is beautiful area of the country; full of great people and great places,” said Bishop Paul as his appointment was announced, “We need to work together to attract people here. People who will visit as tourists; people who will bring business and employment, and in church terms people who will serve as leaders in our churches. I come with a priority to renew and grow the church. I do so not for the church’s sake but convinced that the renewal of the church leads to the renewal of the whole community. This renewal depends on prayer, on teaching the faith and on serving all people.
“I am excited, and a little daunted, by the challenges ahead but know that the God who calls us to follow Him always travels with us.
“I love Jesus Christ. I love the church of Jesus Christ, and in particular the Church of England. I love the C of E for its commitment to the good news of God in Jesus Christ; its breadth and its continuing engagement in the life of the community at every level, and that is what will drive me in my ministry here in Durham.”