Bishop Paul faces some tough questions in The Gap. (Picture: Keith Blundy)

The  Right Revd Paul Butler, Bishop of Durham will be taking part in a series of chat shows with a difference to help bring the good news to life for people and confront some tough social issues. Billed as a chat show with a twist, ‘The Gap’, as the events are titled – will span issues faced in everyday life.

Bishop Paul along with seven special guests and the Footprints Theatre Company will stage a series of mini ‘soap’ dramas at St Nicholas Church in Durham Market Place over five nights this autumn. Starting on Tuesday 31st October and concluding on Saturday 4th November, the five evenings each take on a different theme.

The Gap, explores issues of Food, Identity, Money, Life & Death, Relationships. Each evening will begin with drama and song. Then Bishop Paul and guests will take part in debate around some of the key issues these raise that we all face.

Bishop Paul has been involved with ‘The Gap’ several times before firstly when he was Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham and most recently as Bishop of Durham when ‘The Gap’ was put on in Sunderland Minster in January 2015.

Bishop Paul said: “The idea is to create a relaxed setting in which people feel confident to ask tough questions and air their opinions. Although we will not agree with everything each other says, it is really important that such issues are aired.”

The Bishop said that in previous events, there had been some tough questions, including on faith and conflict, money, assisted suicide and food banks.

The events are free to attend and open to all. At each event which starts at 7.30pm, there will be refreshments served and a warm welcome awaits.


  • Tuesday 31st October: Theme FOOD, with Nikki Driver, founder and Managing Director REfUSE, Durham.
  • Wednesday 1st November: Theme IDENTITY, with Revd Arun Arora, Vicar of St Nicholas Church and former Director of Communications for the Church of England.
  • Thursday 2nd November: Theme MONEY, with Mags Vaughan, Director of County Durham Community Foundation and former Chief Executive of Traidcraft. Also with Jonathan Ruffer, from The Auckland Castle and Eleven Arches Trusts.
  • Friday 3rd November: Theme LIFE AND DEATH, with Ruth Plummer, Professor of Experimental Cancer Medicine and Oncologist to the late Sir Bobby Robson.
  • Saturday 4th November: Theme RELATIONSHIPS, with Martin & Mel Stand, Youth Workers and School Chaplains in Darlington Area Churches Youth Ministry.

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