THE new Bishop of Durham has been announced.
Downing Street confirmed this morning that Right Reverend Paul Butter, currently the Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham, will take over the role previously held by the Most Reverend Justin Welby, now the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Bishop Butler, 57, 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.”
He added: “I am delighted to be coming to Durham and the North East at a time of significant change that is both exciting and challenging in equal parts.
“I come here to serve and to seek to enable the continual renewing of the faith and our engagement with all people in every community”.
Although not from the North-East, Bishop Butler will come to Durham with a keen interest and understanding of the issues and the geography of the region.
He said: “I come here deeply aware of the challenges faced by the community and the church. Although I am new to the area, I have visited the region’s universities both in my work before training for ordination and on my journey of becoming a bishop in the Church of England.”
He said his first priorities include “getting out and about meeting people on the ground, hearing about their lives and communities”, getting to know the area and building relationships with clergy, local community leaders, local and national politicians and business leaders and tackling poverty, church growth and a commitment to children and young people.