Bishop of Durham stops off for a cuppa during prayer walk

The Bishop of Durham took a break from an annual pilgrimage to have a cuppa with volunteers at a heritage centre.

Friday, 18th May 2018, 3:50 pm
Updated Friday, 18th May 2018, 3:51 pm
Bishop of Durham Paul Butler visits Horden Heritage Centre

The Right Revd Paul Butler is embarking on the fourth set of prayer walks round his Diocese this week.

Taking in the Easington area, Bishop Paul stopped off at Horden Heritage Centre and Vintage Tea Rooms for a well-earned rest.

Bishop of Durham Paul Butler enjoys a cup of tea Horden Heritage Centre's Maureen McGregor

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

He also took time speaking to visitors and local councillors and had a look around the venue, which has proved hugely popular since opening three years ago.

The walks are designed for the Bishop to get out among the communities of the Diocese of Durham and to talk and pray with people.

Bishop Paul said: “I love Prayer Walks because they are a great way to discover an area, meet its people and pray together with them.

“As we walk and pray together we seek to bless, and be blessed by, the people and communities that we visit.”

Maureen McGregor, of Horden Heritage Centre and Vintage Tea Rooms, told the Mail: “It’s been brilliant having the Bishop here.

“The parish clerk collared me in my office last week asking if there was a chance of putting breakfast on for him and we were happy to.

“He spent plenty of time talking to people and having a look around the centre, as well as talking to Fr Kyle McNeil, the parish priest of St Mary’s in Horden.”

The centre has a kitchen, a parlour and an archives room with items dating back more than a century.

“We have the original blueprint from when Horden Colliery was sunk in 1901 and plenty of other things as well,” added Maureen.

“The tea room has really gone from strength to strength since we opened three years ago. There are six of us who work here but we are all volunteers.”

As well as the walk in the East Durham area, Bishop Paul also walked in the Barnard Castle area next Thursday.

In East Durham he has also visited Castle Eden Dene, East DUrham College, Seaham Harbour, and an outdoor Pentecost service in woodland near Hawthorn Dene.

Bishop Paul is due to finish his walk on Sunday, which is Pentescot Sunday. The Christian significance of Ascension and Pentecost being that Ascension Day is the 40th Day of Easter commemorating Jesus’ ascension into heaven.

Pentecost Sunday is often referred to as Whit Sunday and the fiftieth day of Easter.

This is the day that the Holy Spirit descended on Jesus’ disciples - a time of great joy for Christians and marks the birth of the Christian Church.

Pentecost/Whitsun is traditionally celebrated in prayer and often in outdoor locations.