Bishop of Durham biography

Paul Roger Butler was installed and enthroned as Bishop of Durham on 22 February 2014, succeeding Justin Welby, now Archbishop of Canterbury.

Bishop Paul was previously Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham and had also been Suffragan Bishop of Southampton in the Diocese of Winchester from 2004-2009.

Bishop Paul is married to Rosemary. They have four adult children and one grandchild.

Ordained ministry

  • Trained for Ordained ministry at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford
  • Ordained a deacon in 1983 after which he served his curacy at All Saints with Holy Trinity in Wandsworth, Diocese of Southwark
  • After his curacy, Bishop Paul became the Inner London Evangelist at Scripture Union until 1992
  • During that time, he also was a non-stipendiary minister (NSM) at St Paul's East Ham in the Diocese of Chelmsford
  • He was made Deputy Head of Scripture Union until 1994 and later became President from 2012-19
  • Between 1994 and 1997 he was priest-in-charge of St Mary's Church, Walthamstow with St Stephen's and St Luke's, becoming Team Rector of Walthamstow in 1997 until 2004
  • He was also Area Dean of Waltham Forest from 2000 to 2004 and was appointed an Honorary Canon of Byumba in Rwanda in 2001

Special roles and interests

  • Many bishops have particular areas of national concern as part of their ministry and Bishop Paul acts as an 'Advocate for Children'
  • He is Chairman of the National Society – the body that oversees education in the Church of England and the Church of Wales
  • Bishop Paul holds one of the permanent ‘Lords Spiritual’ seats in the House of Lords. He takes a particular interest in matters relating to the North East, welfare, education and to asylum seekers and refugees
  • Alongside Professor Janet Walker he is co-chair of the Archbishops’ Commission on Families and Households, which is due to report at the end of 2022
  • At the 2018 Lambeth Awards given by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Bishop Paul received the Hubert Walter Award for Reconciliation and Interfaith Cooperation for service to the Church
  • Bishop Paul enjoys annual pilgrimages in the Diocese of Durham in which he spends a week each year walking round a part of the Diocese praying with local people
  • He was a trustee of the Church Mission Society from 2000 to 2010 and its chairman from 2008 to 2010
  • He regularly visits Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda, and visited Natal, South Africa in January 2011 as part of a diocesan visit
  • The Durham-Lesotho Link is an important connection for the Diocese of Durham. Bishop Paul visited the diocesan link centre there in 2018

Books and publications

  • Reaching children, (1992) Scripture Union Publishing, ISBN13: 9780862018153
  • Reaching Families (1995) Scripture Union Publishing, ISBN 10: 0862019729
  • Contributor to Through the Eyes of a Child, Church House Publishing (2009) ISBN: 9781781401026
  • Temptation and Testing, SPCK Publishing (2007), ISBN: 9780281058402
  • Offering the Best Children’s Ministry, Scripture Union (2011) ISBN 9781844275328
  • A confirmation gift book for teenagers: Living your confirmation, co-authored with Pete Maidment, SPCK Publishing, SBN-13: 9780281064625, 9780281067619
  • Contributor to Clergy in a Complex Age, SPCK (2016) ISBN 9780281074938
  • Contributor to We Welcome You, CHP (2016) ISBN 9780715147252
  • Contributor to Episkope, SCM (2020) ISBN 9780334059387
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