Election of new Bishop of Durham confirmed at York Minster ceremony

The election of the Right Reverend Paul Butler as the 74th Bishop of Durham has been confirmed

Keith Blundy / Aegies Associates The Right Revd Paul Butler confirmed as Bishop of Durham at a service in York Minster led by the Archbishop of York
CREDIT Keith Blundy / Aegies Associates. The Right Revd Paul Butler confirmed as Bishop of Durham at a service in York Minster led by the Archbishop of York

The election of the new Bishop of Durham has been confirmed in a special service.

Paul Butler’s place as the 74th Bishop of Durham was confirmed in a ceremony led by the Dr John Sentamu, Archbishop of York at York Minster.

Bishop Paul, the previous Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham, was announced as the next Bishop of Durham on September 12 last year.

He is succeeding Justin Welby, who has now moved on to become the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Bishop Paul, an avid Twitter user, documented his election service using his social media account.

Using the hashtag #BDPaulB, for Bishop of Durham Paul Butler, he wrote: “Heading off to York for Confirmation of Election. Rehearsal valuable on these occasions.”

He later added: “Evening Prayer completed. Lovely to have friends and colleagues gathering for Confirmation of Election.”

Once completed he then tweeted his 3,400 followers: “Back home from York now fully Bishop of Durham. Looking forward to new colleagues and new challenges.”

The confirmation of election service means that Bishop Paul can now legally call himself the Bishop of Durham - although the he will not start his ministry proper until he has met the Queen and taken an oath acknowledging her as sovereign and supreme governor of the Church of England.

He will then be enthroned and installed at a service of inauguration of his public ministry in Durham Cathedral on February 22.

Bishop Paul, who has a wife called Rosemary and four grown children, was named as the next Bishop of Durham last year and was duly elected by the College of Canons of Durham Cathedral on October 22.

The election service confirms Bishop Paul as the Church of England’s fourth most senior Bishop and in due course his entry into the House of Lords as a Lord Spiritual, one of five automatic members alongside the Archbishops of Canterbury and York and the Bishops of London and Winchester.

Speaking at the time his new position was announced, he said he plans to “get out and about meeting people on the ground” and sees worklessness, poverty and engaging young people as central concerns.

He said: “These are important issues for all communities but never more so than here in the North East today. I have a strong commitment to engaging with children and young people, through schools, in church and community-based activities. I have a particular concern around child poverty, social, economic and spiritual.”

Bishop Paul said he is both excited and daunted by the challenge of his new job.

As well as being a keen user of Twitter and other social networking sites, the former student of history writes his own blog Through The Eyes Of A Bishop. He is also chairman of the Churches National Safeguarding Committee.

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