Bishop Paul’s – First Sunday back in Durham Cathedral

Bishop Paul was at Durham Cathedral today (Sunday 19th July 2020) for the first Sunday in the Cathedral following the releasing of COVID-19 lockdown restrictions. He presided at the earlier service and preached at the 11.30 am service. A full transcript of his sermon follows. POST CORONAVIRUS LOCKDOWN First Sunday back in Durham...

COVID-19 Update 25 – Bishops Pastoral Letter Recommencement of Public Services...

Dear Sisters and Brothers, The announcement from the Prime Minister today of the permission to recommence public services of worship in our church buildings, from July 4th, is deeply welcome. It brings some joy after times of weeping. It is a positive sign of returning life to our communities.  It...

REOPENING OF CHURCH BUILDINGS FOR PUBLIC WORSHIP

Responding to the Government announcement that church buildings will be able to reopen for public worship from 4th July, providing physical distancing remains in place, The Rt Revd Paul Butler, Bishop of Durham said:  “I welcome the announcement that permission for public worship in our church buildings has been agreed...

COVID-19 Update 24 – Bishops Pastoral Letter

Dear Sisters and Brothers, We write in these days after Pentecost.  One of the great early lessons for the disciples of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit was that Jesus really meant it when he told them that the good news was for all nations. On the day of Pentecost...

COVID-19 Update 23-Places of worship permitted to open up for individual...

Dear Brothers and Sisters, You will be aware that the Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick confirmed today that places of worship across England will be permitted to reopen for individual prayer from Monday 15 June. The statement https://www.gov.uk/government/news/places-of-worship-to-re-open-for-individual-prayer makes clear that new guidance will be published shortly to ensure that this limited re-opening...

GOD’S PEOPLE ON THE MOVE TOGETHER

GOD’S PEOPLE ON THE MOVE TOGETHER A brief theological reflection on the Coronavirus Crisis Dear Sisters & Brothers, Over the past 18 months facilitated by the Waymark process, we have found ourselves drawn together to see ourselves much more clearly as God’s people, travelling together alongside one another as God’s pilgrim people....

COVID-19 Update 20 – Bishops’ Pastoral Letter

Dear Sisters & Brothers,  ‘I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel’ (Phil 1.3-5) We have been so thankful, during this Eastertide, for the many life-giving stories we...

Church of England launches campaign to help families pray together

Church of England launches campaign to help families pray together https://www.churchofengland.org/   The Church of England has today launched a new programme to make prayer a household habit once again. Bishop Paul is part of the team helping launch the initiative today in his role as lead bishop on education. #FaithAtHome which...

Shildon Church Foodbank serves record numbers

A food bank founded by a church in the Diocese of Durham has seen demand surge by 500 per cent during the lockdown as elderly and vulnerable people unable to get to shops because of shielding and self-isolating receive help. The number of people receiving support from Shildon Alive food...

COVID-19 Update 18 – Safeguarding

Domestic abuse may affect anyone at any time, but the isolation resulting from COVID-19 is particularly affecting victims/survivors of domestic abuse. The National Domestic Abuse helpline has seen a 25% increase in calls and online requests for help since the lockdown, according to the charity Refuge. Victims/survivors of domestic...