Bishop Paul visits an asylum drop in centre - meeting with staff and service users during the 2017 prayer walks. (Picture: Keith Blundy)

The Right Revd Paul Butler, Bishop of Durham is to about to embark on the fourth set of prayer walks round his Diocese, aimed at allowing him to meet people, get to know the area and pray for it and its people.

Bishop Paul will take part in two further Prayer Walks this year following the fantastic successes of the walks in 2015, 2016 and 2017. The prayer walks will continue on a periodic yearly basis until he has walked across all fifteen Deaneries of the Diocese.

The 2018 series of two walks, which each take four days, are happening this month; Barnard Castle Area starts on Thursday May 10th with the second walk in the Easington Area on the 17th May. The prayer walks this year start on a Thursday, continuing Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

In keeping with previous years the annual round of walks start on Ascension Day and conclude on Pentecost Sunday. Both walks are designed to get out amongst the communities of the Diocese of Durham and to talk and pray with people where they are. Bishop Paul said: “I love Prayer Walks because they are a great way to discover an area, meet its people and pray together with them.

“As we walk and pray together we seek to bless, and be blessed by, the people and communities that we visit. I hope that people will join me. It is fun, enjoyable and really rewarding to do.”

The  Barnard Castle prayer walks will see the Bishop visit a variety of locations including: visits to local schools in the Barnard Castle, Gainford, Butterknowle; A dairy Farm to look at farming in the region; A transport Depot; A Blacksmith; A cheesery; A quarry providing stone for Durham Cathedral; High Force and a local football match in Barnard Castle.

In Easington, the Bishop will visit an equally eclectic mix of places including: A school; Horden Heritage Centre; Castle Eden Dene; Peterlee FE college; Seaham Harbour; and an outdoor Pentecost service in woodland near Hawthorn Dene.

Updates to itinerary of the Bishop Prayer Walk / locations will be available via the Facebook page:

Draft Itineraries can be downloaded here:

The Christian significance of Ascension and Pentecost being that Ascension Day is the 40th Day of Easter commemorating Jesus’ ascension into heaven, a time traditionally celebrated in prayer. The walks concluding on Pentecost Sunday (often referred to as Whit Sunday and the fiftieth day of Easter). This is the day that the Holy Spirit descended on Jesus’ disciples – a time of great joy for Christians and marks the birth of the Christian Church. Pentecost / Whitsun is traditionally celebrated in prayer and often in outdoor locations

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