The new £2m Diocesan Centre for the Anglican Diocese of Durham, Cuthbert House, was today announced as one of the winners of the City of Durham Trust Architectural Award 2014. It was formally opened on Thursday 26th February by Mrs Sue Snowdon, the Lord Lieutenant of County Durham.
The opening ceremony also included the dedication of the building and its chapel by the Right Revd. Paul Butler, Bishop of Durham and the Very Revd Michael Sadgrove, Dean of Durham Cathedral.
The centre which was completed and occupied in December 2014, provides a central location for all Diocesan activities, further strengthening the support of mission across the diocese. It now provides office space for the Diocesan teams that had been based in Auckland Castle and Carter House in Durham and has also become the home for the Durham base of the North East Religious Resources Centre as well as hosting a wide variety meetings and training events.
Lord Lieutenant said: “It was a privilege to be asked to open this amazing building, its going to bring life as a hub, not just for the administration of the Diocese but for the wider Diocese as well. I know this location of old and to see this building here in an area that was once abandoned is wonderful. I particularly like the idea that there is going to be residential developments around it, I think that will give a heart to this – because it’s the diocese and it should be in the centre of a living, working community.”
She added: “You can look out form here and see green all around you and light pours in to this magnificent building, it has such potential and I think the City of Durham Trust Architectural award is well deserved.“
Bishop Paul said: ”Cuthbert House is a terrific new centre for the support of our work in the parishes and communities across the Diocese. Vision, and much hard work, have led to this very exciting next chapter in the life of this Diocese. I am delighted in how it has turned out and how it is already being used. Now being the recipient of the City of Durham Trust Architectural Award is the icing on the cake – I am thrilled.”
Andrew Thurston, Diocesan Secretary said: ”It’s fantastic that we are now all together under a single roof – where we can provide support for mission and ministry across the Diocese and also where parishes and our partners can come together at various times.“
The building which has been honoured with a City of Durham Architectural Award for its design and also cited for being ‘thoroughly respectful of a context with in Durham’s greenbelt’ is actually built on a brownfield site of a Milk Marketing Board dairy.
Schools who assisted at the laying of the ‘Foundation Stone’ also took part in the opening including children from St Anne’s Church of England Primary School – Bishop Auckland and St Margaret’s Church of England Primary School – Durham.