THE new Bishop of Durham is to be the Rt Revd Paul Butler.

Currently Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham, Bishop Paul was installed at Southwell Minster on February 27 2010. He was consecrated at Southwark Cathedral on June 24 2004 and served as Bishop of Southampton until his move to Southwell.

The announcement was made by Downing Street this morning.

  • What do you think the new Bishop of Durham's priorities should be? Let us know your thoughts by leaving your comments below

Commenting in advance of today's announcement Bishop Paul said that he was very much looking forward to coming to the North-East and continuing the work started by the previous Bishop of Durham, The Most Reverend Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury.

The Bishop said he was delighted to be "part of the continuing renewal of the ministry of the Diocese of Durham and joining those that are strong advocates of the North-East".

He 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.

“It will be very sad to leave Southwell and Nottingham, the work that we have begun there will continue and I am sure in time will be taken up by a really good and inspirational bishop able to take the Diocese from strength to strength.

“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 Paul says he 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.

The Northern Echo:
Rt Rev Paul Butler makes his first speech as the new Bishop of Durham, in Durham Cathedral

“My first priority will be to get out and about meeting people on the ground; hearing about their lives and communities.

"I want to get to know the area and being out and about is the only way to do so. I will want to build relationships with the clergy, local community leaders, local and national politicians and business leaders. I hope that the itinerary of this announcement day begins to demonstrate that commitment.”