Stonemason carves new Bishop of Durham's name into stone

Right Rev Paul Butler will take up his new job at Durham Cathedral this weekend

Senior stone mason Nigel Mawson, engraves the name of the next Bishop of Durham, Paul Butler, at Durham Cathedral
Senior stone mason Nigel Mawson, engraves the name of the next Bishop of Durham, Paul Butler, at Durham Cathedral

The new Bishop of Durham’s arrival has been officially set in stone by the city cathedral’s longest-serving stonemason.

The Right Reverend Paul Roger Butler will take up the Church of England role this weekend after he was chosen for the job last year.

Now, as the congregation prepare for an enthronement at Durham Cathedral, stonemason Nigel Mawson has carved his name into a stone plaque that lists the names of all the Bishops of Durham.

Nigel started his apprenticeship at the cathedral in the early 1980s.

He said yesterday: “It is an honour to be the stonemason who will be engraving the bishop’s name in this way.”

The plaque is mounted on the wall next to the entrance to the Shrine of St Cuthbert.

The Rt Rev Butler is the replacement for Justin Welby, who is now the Archbishop of Canterbury.

 

The Durham diocese is one of the oldest in the country and the bishop automatically has a place in the House of Lords.

He has pledged to use his time in Durham to tackle poverty and engage more young people in the church.

Many at the cathedral are hopeful the Rt Rev Butler will be in post longer than his predecessor, who was at Durham for just two years before leaving for the Church of England’s top job.

Nigel said yesterday: “I also had the honour of engraving Justin Welby’s name on the plaque. I am sure I am not alone in hoping that once I have engraved the Rt Rev Butler’s name on the plaque it is quite some time before I am asked to engrave another.”

Until July 2012, the Bishop of Durham traditionally took up residence at Auckland Castle, in Bishop Auckland, but now the castle has been transferred to the Auckland Castle Trust.

The Rt Rev Butler, however, will have offices there but has already moved into his new home at Etherley Lane, which is near Bishop Auckland, with his wife Rosemary.

It is a long way – 130 miles to be exact – from his former residence in Southwell, in Nottinghamshire, where he had been Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham since 2010.

The Rt Rev Butler will take part in a series of events this weekend as part of his official enthronement.

There will be a service at Durham Cathedral tomorrow to mark what is formally known as his Inauguration of Public Ministry, Enthronement and Installation.

And there will be a traditional event to welcome the bishop to the diocese at Croft Bridge, Croft, near Darlington in County Durham, followed by a joint Darlington Deanery and Darlington Civic Reception.

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