The foundation stone has been laid for a new £2m Diocesan Centre for the Anglican Diocese of Durham. The ceremony, which included a short service of dedication and the burying of a time capsule containing items provided by children from three schools in the diocese, took place at Stonebridge, near Nevilles Cross, Durham. Two children from each of the schools along with the Bishop of Durham, the Right Revd Paul Butler, signed the time capsule before placing it into a void alongside the foundation stone which the Bishop blessed and laid. Bishop Paul said: “It is a very powerful, symbolic moment, it says this building is happening and we will be moving here and we are building on the foundation of Jesus Christ.” He said the time capsule would give future generations a clear picture of what Christians today think is important. Among the children helping to bury the time capsule, which contained items of importance to children from schools in each of the three Archdeaconries plus a copy of the Bishop’s inauguration speech, were Grace Squires and Calum Logan, of Benedict Biscop school in Sunderland. Grace said: “It’s exciting and a privilege that our school has been chosen.” Headteacher Paula Thompson said the time capsule would give people in the future an idea of what was happening in education today, adding: “It is a huge privilege to be involved.” Allan Thompson, Managing Director of Gentoo Construction said: “We were delighted to have been able to donate this fantastic Foundation Stone that will leave a lasting legacy at the new Diocesan Offices. The laying of the stone was a great occasion to bring together the local community, schools, staff of the Diocese and the Bishop to showcase the progress being made on site and celebrate the future of the community.” The centre will provide a central location for Diocesan activities when it opens early in 2015, further strengthening the support of mission across the diocese. There will be office space for Diocesan teams currently based in Auckland Castle and Carter House in Durham. The centre will also become the new home for the Durham base of the North East Religious Resources Centre as well as hosting meetings and training events. Colin Price, of the working group overseeing the project, said: “We are really grateful to Gentoo for the generous donation of the foundation stone that we have just set in place. “Already the shape of the building can be seen from the steel work that is in place. The foundation stone signifies that we are now starting to work on the outside skin of the building. The current pace of work should see the building complete before Christmas and ready to move into in early 2015.” Note: Schools taking part where: The Benedict Biscop Church of England Academy from the Sunderland Archdeaconry, St Anne’s Church of England Primary School from Auckland Archdeaconry and St Margaret’s Church of England Primary School from the Durham Archdeaconry.