IT is really good that the Lindisfarne Gospels is once more coming home to the North-East in 2022.

It is a book that is regarded as one of the greatest Anglo-Saxon artistic treasures to survive, important not just on a national level but of continental significance.

Whether you are religious or not, the finely illustrated book is a regional treasure, and it is as big a part of our history as any of the cathedrals and castles, or indeed locomotives, that we are privileged enough to call our own.

By coming home from London, the book gains greater meaning as people are able to see it in the context of the places where its story is set, of how it was created on Lindisfarne and then travelled with St Cuthbert’s body around all the places with a church dedicated to the region’s saint, before coming to a rest at Durham.

That is why a feeling still burns that the gospels should really be permanently located here.

The book’s last visit in 2013 was a triumph, attracting nearly 100,000 visitors to Durham and also having an excellent outreach programme, involving schools and local community groups. Once again, in 2022, a similar programme is proposed so that the gospels will again be at the heart of the region – for a time, at least.