The  Right Revd Paul Butler, Bishop of Durham has begun his 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 – span issues faced in everyday life.

Details on the 2017 ‘The Gap’ shows can be found here: Bishop of Durham faces up to some tough questions.

Speaking before the start of the first evenings show Bishop Paul said: “We want to engage people in thinking about the Christian faith, areas of life and living and show how the Christian faith is relevant. That is why we are tackling subjects such as food and money – so we try to help people see that the Christian faith is about all of life.

“There are several twists along the way each night it’s different and only comes to light as people watch the themed soap area unfold. The other twist is that the audience supplies all of the questions that we discuss – via the audience in the show, via Twitter and via text.

“we don’t know what the questions are going to be so we respond to people – and sometimes those questions can be quite challenging.”

The first show was about food – with special guest Nikki and Mims – founders of RefUSE Durham – a charity combating food waste. The soap opera section of the show opened up questions about faith, food, poverty, celebration, feast and deeper questions on indulgence and waste. During the second half, the audience from near and afar quizzed the panel on a range of food-related questions – including the moral role of TV celebrity Chefs in the food waste debate as well as body image, food poverty and the role of the Christian faith in the overall debate.

The shows continue this week and are all free, and open to all. Each event starts at 7.30pm, refreshments are served in the interval along with a warm welcome throughout.


  • 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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