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25 Bishops head to Durham to support our communities

Tuesday 21st February 2017

Twenty five Bishops and their teams from the northern half of The Church of England will be heading to the Diocese of Durham for a weekend of mission called ‘Talking Jesus’ from 2nd - 5th March.

The four days of mission and celebration start at Durham Cathedral on Thursday 2nd March at 1.30pm in a service led by The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, after which the teams will go out into communities in all corners of the Diocese - from the Tyne to the Tees and the Dales to the Sea.

The Bishops and their teams will be talking about Jesus at more than 450 community events across the sixteen deaneries in the Diocese of Durham.

Events include: Abseiling at Gainsford; On the Ball Sports at Durham Cricket Ground; Come and Sing at Holy Trinity Darlington; Ashes to Go at Norton; Street Pastors in pubs in the Low Fell as well as many opportunities for people to ask questions and find out more of the Christian faith. The mission concludes at Durham Cathedral on Sunday 5th March at 3.00pm for a final service of celebration – all are warmly welcome to attend.

The Right Revd Paul Butler, Bishop of Durham, said: “In this Diocese, we’re all about blessing our communities in Jesus’ name for the transformation of us all. What greater blessing can we offer than an introduction to Jesus? What could be more transformative than coming to know him? Just imagine: one long weekend; twenty five Bishops; hundreds of events; thousands hearing about Jesus and having their lives transformed.”

The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu said: “We’re in the Durham Diocese for a weekend of ‘Talking Jesus’. Jesus came to bring the very life of God as a gift to all of us. His resurrection makes it possible for us to live the life he lived. The heart of the Christian faith is about having an encounter with Jesus – an encounter which transforms and brings hope and love”.

Talking Jesus Durham is the third mission undertaken by the Northern Bishops. Previous missions have been at Blackburn (2016) and Sheffield (2015).

A cross section of the activities being planned follows for media information - but more details can be found at and the Facebook page

Press Call:

A press call will be held at 3pm on Thursday 2nd March 2017 for a maximum of 40 minutes outside St Nicholas’ Church in Durham Market Place. The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu; The Bishop of Durham, the Rt Revd Paul Butler; and the Bishop of Jarrow, the Rt Revd Mark Bryant will be available for interview and pictures and will be ‘Talking Jesus’ and about how this mission with its 450+ events, 25 Bishops and thousands of people taking part will ‘Bless our Communities in Jesus’ name’. Media are invited to attend and should accredit in advance by contacting Keith Blundy on 07900 583131 or


Social and Online Media

● Latest Talking Jesus news on the Diocesan website

● General Talking Jesus information/resources here on the Diocesan website

● WATCH the Talking Jesus launch video here on YouTube

● FOLLOW on Twitter @dioceseofdurham | @DDNewsroom | @DDtalkingjesus #DDTalkingJesus

● VIEW Talking Jesus pictures here on Flickr


EVENT Notes:

  1. Talking Jesus (Durham) is happening from the 2 nd – 5 th March across the Diocese of Durham. A commissioning service in Durham Cathedral at 1.30pm on Thursday 2nd March is the start point for the mission activities that will see more than 25 Bishops and The Archbishop of York visiting hundreds of events, across sixteen deaneries.
  2. Talking Jesus events finish with a service at Durham Cathedral at 3pm on Sunday 5th March.

Media Enquiries (Bishop of Durham, Bishop of Jarrow and Archbishop of York):

1. For media enquiries relating to the Bishop of Durham and the Bishop of Jarrow please contact: Keith Blundy on 07900 583131 or

2. For media enquiries relating to the Archbishop of York please contact: Elizabeth Addy on 01904 772365 or


1. FURTHER INFORMATION - Diocese of Durham
The Diocese of Durham is the Church of England from the River Tyne in the North; to the River Tees in the South; the Durham Dales in the West; and to the Sea in the East.

The Diocese of Durham is centred in historic City and County Durham, the City of Sunderland, the Metropolitan Districts of Gateshead & South Tyneside and also the boroughs of Darlington, Hartlepool, and of Stockton-on-Tees, north of the River Tees. The Diocese covers a geographic area of 2,530 square kilometres and serves a population of nearly 1.5 million.

The mission of the Diocese of Durham is to bless our communities in Jesus’ name for the transformation of us all. The priorities of the Diocese are: children & young people; poverty and Church growth.

The mother church of the Diocese is Durham Cathedral which is a Unesco World Heritage site and is the Cathedra seat into which the Bishops of Durham are installed.

The Diocese is organised into 16 Deaneries grouped into three Archdeaconries (Sunderland, Durham & Auckland). The Diocese has 227 parishes, in 187 Benefices with 218 clergy providing mission and ministry in them.

The Church of England from the Tyne to the Tees and the Dales to the Sea, blessing our communities in Jesus’ name for the transformation of us all.


If you want to catch up with the Archbishop over the Mission weekend, on Thursday 2 March he will be at the Commissioning Service at Durham Cathedral at 2pm then in the Market Square from 3pm.

Friday sees the Archbishop visiting Hartlepool College of Further Education at 10.30am; St Matthew’s Church, Silksworth at 1pm; The Venerable Bede Academy in Sunderland from around 1.30pm, then at the Ceilidh at the Westwood Social Club in Washington from 7pm. 

Saturday begins at St James and St Bede’s Church in Gateshead at 9.30am with a Community Breakfast.  The Archbishop will then move on to the Metro Centre around lunch time, Sunderland city centre and the Bridges Shopping Centre from 2-4pm.  The Mustard Tree at Hurworth Methodist Church is hosting a café style service for young people from 7pm which will also be the launch of a new Lent Course.

The Archbishop will be at St Thomas’ Church in Stanhope at 10am on Sunday morning, then will round up the Mission at the Cathedral at 3pm when everyone is invited to attend the Celebration Service.

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