Bishop of Durham visits lifeboat station on tour of Hartlepool
Lifeboat crews in Hartlepool welcomed the Bishop of Durham to their station as part of his '˜prayer walk' of the town.
The Right Revd Paul Butler visited the Hartlepool RNLI Lifeboat Station, meeting some of the crew and volunteers who are on call at all times.
Bishop Paul was given a guided tour of the Ferry Road boathouse, and had a short trip to sea on the all-weather lifeboat.
Hartlepool RNLI second coxswain and station mechanic Garry Waugh said: “The Bishop thoroughly enjoyed his trip to the lifeboat station and asked a lot of questions regarding the work of the RNLI and our volunteer crew members.”
Bishop Paul said: “It was an enormous privilege to be taken out to sea on the all-weather lifeboat and I found the experience very enjoyable.
“There is a great camaraderie of the crew and the importance of working together and caring for each other is very apparent.
“The bravery to go out in rough weather when others have returned to safety demands bravery and skill.
“All the volunteers need to be recognised for their contributions to the charity.”
Bishop Paul’s tour around Hartlepool was part of week two of the third set of prayer walks around his Diocese.
The aim of the prayer walks are to help him meet people, get to know the area and pray for it and its people.
He had similar walks in 2015 and 2016, and they will continue on a periodic yearly basis until he has walked across all 16 Deaneries of the Diocese.
As well as visiting the RNLI in Hartlepool, Bishop Paul went to a mosque, the seaside, Hartlepool Fish Quay and the Royal Naval Museum HMS Trincomalee.
He also visited Hartlepool United’s Victoria Park, Hartlepool Civic Centre, Middleton Grange Shopping Centre, Hartlepool College of Further Education, Young’s Fish Shop, St Hilda Church, Hartlepool and District Hospice, Hartlepool Cricket Cluband various other venues.
It came a week after a similar walk he carried out across three days in Gateshead.
Bishop Paul added: “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.”