New Bishop of Durham is welcomed to the county during historic ceremony over the River Tees

Darlington and Stockton Times: New Bishop of Durham Paul Butler (1st left) is presented with the sword by (L-R) Rev Robert Williamson of St Cuthbert's Church (Darlington), Darlington mayor Charles Johnson, Vicar at Hurworth Rev Adele Martin and Area Dean for Darlington New Bishop of Durham Paul Butler (1st left) is presented with the sword by (L-R) Rev Robert Williamson of St Cuthbert's Church (Darlington), Darlington mayor Charles Johnson, Vicar at Hurworth Rev Adele Martin and Area Dean for Darlington

POVERTY is a dragon that needs to be slain, the new Bishop of Durham told well-wishers today ahead of a ceremony evoking the legend of the Sockburn Worm.

Bishop Paul Butler was officially welcomed to his new diocese at the historic falchion ceremony in the centre of Croft Bridge ahead of his enthronement at Durham Cathedral tomorrow (Saturday).

Crowds gathered on the bridge over the River Tees to welcome the new bishop, who took the time to chat with parishioners in St Peter’s Church, in Croft, where he likened the fight against poverty in the region to the actions of Sir John Conyers, whose slaying of the mythical dragon formed the basis of the short ceremony.

Bishop Butler made headlines earlier this week ahead of his enthronement by putting his name to a letter condemning the Government welfare reforms as forcing people into food and fuel poverty.

He stressed that the timing of the letter was coincidental, but that it was important for church leaders to speak out on behalf of those who needed help.

Darlington and Stockton Times:

WELCOMING PARTY: Dignataries march towards the bridge from the Hurworth side of Croft Bridge

He added: “Don’t expect me to be speaking out like that every single week – there’s day in, day out stuff that needs to be done in the parishes. I will be encouraging people in the parishes to get on with being the church in the community.

“A lot of that is very ordinary stuff but, as and when it’s important, I will speak out on behalf of the people of the region.

“I will observe and listen at first rather than immediately speak out as if I know all that’s going on in the North East. I’m aware that some of the national issues play themselves out here but in a particular way so it’s important to learn what those issues look like locally.”

History graduate Bishop Butler said he had enjoyed researching the history of the Croft ceremony, where the incoming bishop is presented with the falchion, a 13th century sword used to kill the vicious Sockburn Worm.

Darlington and Stockton Times:

Bishop Paul Butler, centre, walks onto the bridge from the Croft side to meet dignataries there to welcome the new Bishop of Durham to County Durham. Pictures: Chris Booth

Darlington and Stockton Times:

Bishop Butler was welcomed to County Durham by the Mayor of Darlington, Charles Johnson, who was flanked by members of the Darlington deanery, before making a private visit to St Aidan’s Academy, in Darlington, to meet with pupils.

Comments (6)

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4:29pm Fri 21 Feb 14

st-george1 says...

It is important for church leaders with £multi-Billion assets, to speak out on behalf of those who need help says the Bishop of Durham, orchestrated or not, BUT by being politically-motivate
d, telling untruths and keeping secrets, he and his ilk keep schtum when the question is about their institution being a breeding-ground for child abuse … when his church does the right thing for the right reasons, they may just gain a little more respect !
It is important for church leaders with £multi-Billion assets, to speak out on behalf of those who need help says the Bishop of Durham, orchestrated or not, BUT by being politically-motivate d, telling untruths and keeping secrets, he and his ilk keep schtum when the question is about their institution being a breeding-ground for child abuse … when his church does the right thing for the right reasons, they may just gain a little more respect ! st-george1

12:07am Sat 22 Feb 14

Voice-of-reality says...

The bishop has launched a campaign against poverty - suggest the University (founded by his predecessors) should donate £250,000 - roughly the present VC's salary - it would certainly be better spent feeding the poor than propping up a shabby management
The bishop has launched a campaign against poverty - suggest the University (founded by his predecessors) should donate £250,000 - roughly the present VC's salary - it would certainly be better spent feeding the poor than propping up a shabby management Voice-of-reality

11:33am Sat 22 Feb 14

sineater says...

Is it starting to hurt government supporters,now that the church are castigating them for plunging people into poverty .No one is perfect ,but that does not detract from the harm the government is inflicting on poor people.
Is it starting to hurt government supporters,now that the church are castigating them for plunging people into poverty .No one is perfect ,but that does not detract from the harm the government is inflicting on poor people. sineater

4:34pm Sat 22 Feb 14

Nicholas_Till says...

Are there any government supporters?
Are there any government supporters? Nicholas_Till

5:44pm Sat 22 Feb 14

Nicholas_Till says...

On occasion I used to enjoy pointing out to visitors from the South the Conyers falchion in its case in the former Cathedral museum in the undercroft opposite the cafe.

"This killed a dragon in the Middle Ages", I'd say. "You're in the North-East now... "

That left them to mull over two possibilities: (1) that this Mediaeval dragon-slaying really happened not so far away; and/or (2), that people here believe it did. They may have questioned the wisdom of straying so far from the M25.

A notion might have been implanted that Durham was a real-life version of Terry Pratchett's Discworld.

And - back then, anyway - it WAS !
On occasion I used to enjoy pointing out to visitors from the South the Conyers falchion in its case in the former Cathedral museum in the undercroft opposite the cafe. "This killed a dragon in the Middle Ages", I'd say. "You're in the North-East now... " That left them to mull over two possibilities: (1) that this Mediaeval dragon-slaying really happened not so far away; and/or (2), that people here believe it did. They may have questioned the wisdom of straying so far from the M25. A notion might have been implanted that Durham was a real-life version of Terry Pratchett's Discworld. And - back then, anyway - it WAS ! Nicholas_Till

5:44pm Sat 22 Feb 14

Nicholas_Till says...

On occasion I used to enjoy pointing out to visitors from the South the Conyers falchion in its case in the former Cathedral museum in the undercroft opposite the cafe.

"This killed a dragon in the Middle Ages", I'd say. "You're in the North-East now... "

That left them to mull over two possibilities: (1) that this Mediaeval dragon-slaying really happened not so far away; and/or (2), that people here believe it did. They may have questioned the wisdom of straying so far from the M25.

A notion might have been implanted that Durham was a real-life version of Terry Pratchett's Discworld.

And - back then, anyway - it WAS !
On occasion I used to enjoy pointing out to visitors from the South the Conyers falchion in its case in the former Cathedral museum in the undercroft opposite the cafe. "This killed a dragon in the Middle Ages", I'd say. "You're in the North-East now... " That left them to mull over two possibilities: (1) that this Mediaeval dragon-slaying really happened not so far away; and/or (2), that people here believe it did. They may have questioned the wisdom of straying so far from the M25. A notion might have been implanted that Durham was a real-life version of Terry Pratchett's Discworld. And - back then, anyway - it WAS ! Nicholas_Till

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