Diocese of Durham

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Coordinates: 54°43′01″N1°35′38″W / 54.717°N 1.594°W / 54.717; -1.594

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Contents

Diocese of Durham
"Episcopatus Dunelmensis, vulgo the Bishoprike of Durham" (22259719125).jpg
old map of the bishopric of Durham
Location
Ecclesiastical province York
Archdeaconries Auckland, Durham, Sunderland
Statistics
Parishes249
Churches292
Information
Cathedral Durham Cathedral
Current leadership
Bishop Paul Butler, Bishop of Durham
Suffragans Sarah Clark, Bishop of Jarrow
Archdeacons Rick Simpson, Archdeacon of Auckland
Bob Cooper, Archdeacon of Sunderland
Archdeacon of Durham (vacant)
Website
durham.anglican.org

The Diocese of Durham is a Church of England diocese, based in Durham, and covering the historic County Durham (and therefore including the part of Tyne and Wear south of the River Tyne, and excluding southern Teesdale). It was created in AD 635 as the Diocese of Lindisfarne. The cathedral is Durham Cathedral and the bishop is the Bishop of Durham who used to live at Auckland Castle, Bishop Auckland, and still has his office there. The diocese's administrative centre, the Diocesan Office, is located at Cuthbert House, Stonebridge just outside Durham City. This was opened in 2015.

Church of England Anglican state church of England

The Church of England is the established church of England. The Archbishop of Canterbury is the most senior cleric, although the monarch is the supreme governor. The Church of England is also the mother church of the international Anglican Communion. It traces its history to the Christian church recorded as existing in the Roman province of Britain by the third century, and to the 6th-century Gregorian mission to Kent led by Augustine of Canterbury.

Diocese Christian district or see under the supervision of a bishop

The word diocese is derived from the Greek term dioikesis (διοίκησις) meaning "administration". Today, when used in an ecclesiastical sense, it refers to the ecclesiastical district under the jurisdiction of a bishop. Sometimes it is also called bishopric.

Durham, England City in England

Durham is a historic city and the county town of County Durham in North East England. The city lies on the River Wear, to the south-west of Sunderland, south of Newcastle upon Tyne and to the north of Darlington. Founded over the final resting place of St Cuthbert, its Norman cathedral became a centre of pilgrimage in medieval England. The cathedral and adjacent 11th-century castle were designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1986. The castle has been the home of Durham University since 1832. HM Prison Durham is also located close to the city centre. City of Durham is the name of the civil parish.

History

Origins

The line of bishops of Durham stretches back to the 10th century, when Aldhun, Bishop of Lindisfarne (995–1018), transferred his see to Durham around 995. The diocese was founded, with its See at Lindisfarne, in 635; until the See was removed from there around 875 and translated to Chester-le-Street (Cuncacestre) in around 882.

Aldhun of Durham, also known as Ealdhun, was the last Bishop of Lindisfarne and the first Bishop of Durham. He was of "noble descent".

Lindisfarne Tidal island in North East England

The Holy Island of Lindisfarne, also known simply as Holy Island, is a tidal island off the northeast coast of England, which constitutes the civil parish of Holy Island in Northumberland. Holy Island has a recorded history from the 6th century AD; it was an important centre of Celtic Christianity under Saints Aidan of Lindisfarne, Cuthbert, Eadfrith of Lindisfarne and Eadberht of Lindisfarne. After the Viking invasions and the Norman conquest of England, a priory was reestablished. A small castle was built on the island in 1550.

Chester-le-Street town in County Durham

Chester-le-Street is a town in County Durham, England. Its history goes back to the building of a Roman fort called Concangis. This Roman fort is the "Chester" of the town's name; the "Street" refers to the paved Roman road that ran north–south through the town, and which is now called Front Street.

The Bishop owes his unique position to the 7th and 8th century Kingdom of Northumbria, which stretched from the Humber estuary to the Firth of Forth. Subsequently the Kingdom came under Danish and English sovereignty and was transformed into an Earldom.

Humber Large tidal estuary in England

The Humber is a large tidal estuary on the east coast of Northern England. It is formed at Trent Falls, Faxfleet, by the confluence of the tidal rivers Ouse and Trent. From there to the North Sea, it forms part of the boundary between the East Riding of Yorkshire on the north bank and North Lincolnshire on the south bank. Although the Humber is an estuary from the point at which it is formed, many maps show it as the River Humber.

Firth of Forth Estuary or firth of Scotlands River Forth

The Firth of Forth is the estuary (firth) of several Scottish rivers including the River Forth. It meets the North Sea with Fife on the north coast and Lothian on the south. It was known as Bodotria in Roman times. In the Norse sagas it was known as the Myrkvifiörd. An early Welsh name is Merin Iodeo, or the "Sea of Iudeu".

Danelaw Historical name given to part of England ruled by the Danes

The Danelaw, as recorded in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, is a historical name given to the part of England in which the laws of the Danes held sway and dominated those of the Anglo-Saxons. Danelaw contrasts with West Saxon law and Mercian law. The term is first recorded in the early 11th century as Dena lage. Modern historians have extended the term to a geographical designation. The areas that constituted the Danelaw lie in northern and eastern England.

When William the Conqueror became king of England in 1066, he soon realised the need to control Northumbria to protect his kingdom from Scottish incursions. He gained the allegiance of both the Bishop of Durham and the Earl of Northumbria by confirming their privileges and acknowledging the remote independence of Northumbria.

William I, usually known as William the Conqueror and sometimes William the Bastard, was the first Norman King of England, reigning from 1066 until his death in 1087. He was a descendant of Rollo and was Duke of Normandy from 1035 onward. His hold was secure on Normandy by 1060, following a long struggle to establish his throne, and he launched the Norman conquest of England six years later. The rest of his life was marked by struggles to consolidate his hold over England and his continental lands and by difficulties with his eldest son, Robert Curthose.

To quell rebellions, William installed Robert Comine, a Norman noble, as the Earl of Northumbria, but Comine and his 700 men were massacred in Durham. In revenge, the King raided Northumbria in the Harrying of the North . Aethelwine, the Anglo-Saxon Bishop of Durham, tried to flee with Northumbrian treasures, but was caught and imprisoned. He later died in confinement, leaving his see vacant for William to the King to appoint William Walcher as bishop of Durham in 1071.

Normans European ethnic group emerging in the 10th and 11th century in France

The Normans are an ethnic group that arose in Normandy, a northern region of France, from contact between Viking settlers and indigenous Franks and Gallo-Romans. The settlements in France followed a series of raids on the French coast from Denmark, Norway, and Iceland, and they gained political legitimacy when the Viking leader Rollo agreed to swear fealty to King Charles III of West Francia. The distinct cultural and ethnic identity of the Normans emerged initially in the first half of the 10th century, and it continued to evolve over the succeeding centuries.

Harrying of the North Military campaign waged by William the Conqueror in Northern England during 1069–1070

The Harrying of the North was a number of campaigns waged by William the Conqueror in the winter of 1069–70 to subjugate northern England, where the presence of the last Wessex claimant, Edgar Atheling, had encouraged Anglo-Danish rebellions. William paid the Danes to go home, but the remaining rebels refused to meet him in battle, and he decided to starve them out by laying waste to the northern shires using scorched earth tactics, especially in the city of York, before relieving the English aristocracy of their positions, and installing Norman aristocrats throughout the region.

Anglo-Saxons Germanic tribes who started to inhabit parts of Great Britain from the 5th century onwards

The Anglo-Saxons were a cultural group who inhabited Great Britain from the 5th century. They comprise people from Germanic tribes who migrated to the island from continental Europe, their descendants, and indigenous British groups who adopted many aspects of Anglo-Saxon culture and language; the cultural foundations laid by the Anglo-Saxons are the foundation of the modern English legal system and of many aspects of English society; the modern English language owes over half its words – including the most common words of everyday speech – to the language of the Anglo-Saxons. Historically, the Anglo-Saxon period denotes the period in Britain between about 450 and 1066, after their initial settlement and up until the Norman conquest. The early Anglo-Saxon period includes the creation of an English nation, with many of the aspects that survive today, including regional government of shires and hundreds. During this period, Christianity was established and there was a flowering of literature and language. Charters and law were also established. The term Anglo-Saxon is popularly used for the language that was spoken and written by the Anglo-Saxons in England and eastern Scotland between at least the mid-5th century and the mid-12th century. In scholarly use, it is more commonly called Old English.

Prince-Bishops

The King also appointed Waltheof, an Anglo-Saxon of the old Northumbria house, as the new Earl. Bishop William was on friendly terms with Earl Waltheof, who built a castle at Durham for the bishop. After another rebellion, Waltheof was executed in 1075 and in his place William Walcher was appointed Earl, becoming the first Prince Bishop. [1] Walcher was well-intentioned but proved an incompetent leader. He was murdered in Gateshead in 1081.

King William Rufus divided the Earldom into two parts: the lands north of the rivers Tyne and Derwent were ruled by the Earls of Northumberland, while the lands south of the rivers were put under the control of the Bishop of Durham.

The lands ruled by the bishops became known as the 'County Palatine of Durham', a defensive buffer zone between England and the Northumbria-Scottish borderland. Due to its strategic importance and its remoteness from London, the County Palatinate became a virtually autonomous entity, in which the Prince-Bishop possessed the powers of a King. Specifically, the Prince-Bishops had the authority to

For a period Carlisle was also placed under the bishop's jurisdiction, to protect the north west of England.

Durham's exceptional status reached its zenith by 1300, when Prince-Bishop Antony Beck remarked that:

There are two kings in England, namely the Lord King of England, wearing a crown in sign of his regality and the Lord Bishop of Durham wearing a mitre in place of a crown, in sign of his regality in the diocese of Durham.

To ensure that episcopal functions continued to be performed while the diocesan bishop was playing his part in political affairs of state, suffragan bishops were appointed. For instance, Bishop Thomas Langley served as chancellor to the Kings Henry IV, Henry V and Henry VI and was frequently away in London and occasionally overseas.

Demise

In 1536 Henry VIII greatly diminished the Prince-Bishop's secular authority, which was further reduced during and after the English Civil War.

From 1537 to 1572, there was one suffragan Bishop of Berwick. Since 1572, the see has remained in abeyance, and Berwick-upon-Tweed is now in Newcastle diocese.

After the Union of the crowns of England and Scotland in 1603, the County Palatinate, founded to check Scottish incursions, increasingly became an anachronism.

The palatinate was finally abolished on 5 July 1836. [2] In 1844 the Islandshire exclave was transferred to the jurisdiction of Northumberland, while the Bishop's duty to maintain a major fortress overlooking the Tweed at Norham also came to an end. 1882 saw the Bishop lose the religious leadership for the whole of Northumbria when the part north of the River Tyne became the newly created Diocese of Newcastle. In 1971 the Courts Act modernised the English courts system and abolished the Palatinate courts.

Since 1906, there has again been a suffragan bishop in the diocese – the Bishop of Jarrow.

Still, people born in Bedlington or the other parts of old North Durham, had birth certificates issued with the County Palatine of Durham printed on them, and the North Durham satellite areas governed their areas as Urban District Councils still under the rule of Durham. This prevailed until 1974, when administrative boundaries were changed and all of these areas, and other "autonomous" towns connected to Durham, lost their independence.

Reuse of the title: in March 2016, when announcing the retirement of the assistant Bishop of Newcastle, the new suffragan bishop, when appointed, will have the title Bishop of Berwick.

Seals

To differentiate his ecclesiastical and civil functions, the Bishops used two or more seals: the traditional almond-shaped seal of a cleric, and the oval seal of a nobleman. They also had a large round seal showing them seated administering justice on one side, and, on the other, armed and mounted on horseback. That design was, and still is, used by monarchs as the Great Seal of the Realm.

Coat of arms

As a symbol of his palatine jurisdiction, the Bishop of Durham’s coat of arms was set against a crosier and a sword, instead of two crosiers, and the mitre above the coat of arms was encircled with a coronet, usually of the form known as a ‘crest coronet’ (and which is blazoned as a ‘ducal coronet’ though not actually the coronet of a duke). Although the jurisdiction was surrendered to the Crown in 1836, these heraldic symbols of their former power remain.

Bishop's Palace

The bishop's palace is Auckland Castle in Bishop Auckland. Until the 1830s and the national mood at the time of the Great Reform Act, the Bishop had at least two more castles; Norham Castle in Northumberland and his main Palace at Durham Castle, now occupied by Durham University. The Bishop still has the right to use "his" suite at Durham Castle, although the right he retained to stable his horses in buildings adjacent to Palace Green in Durham has lapsed – it was noted in the preamble to University of Durham Act 1935 that the Bishop no longer kept horses.

Bishops

The diocesan Bishop of Durham, Paul Butler, is supported by the Bishop suffragan of Jarrow, currently Sarah Clark. Alternative episcopal oversight (for parishes in the diocese who reject the ministry of priests who are women) is provided by the provincial episcopal visitor (PEV) the Bishop suffragan of Beverley, Glyn Webster. He is licensed as an honorary assistant bishop of the diocese in order to facilitate his work there. Besides Webster, there are also retired honorary assistant bishops licensed in the diocese: retired Bishop of Salisbury David Stancliffe lives in Stanhope since 2013 (he is also licensed in Europe diocese.) [3]

Archdeaconries and deaneries

The diocese is divided into three archdeaconries, those of Auckland, Durham and Sunderland.

Archdeacons of Sunderland

The archdeaconry of Sunderland was created from the Durham archdeaconry on 1 March 1997 [4] to acknowledge Sunderland's new status as a city. The first archdeacon was Frank White (from 1997 to 2002) who was elevated as Bishop of Brixworth in 2002. [5] He was succeeded by Stuart Bain in 2002, [6] who resigned to become Provost of Sunderland Minster on 17 March 2018. [7] Bain was succeeded by Bob Cooper on 3 July 2018. [8]

Archdeaconries and deaneries

Diocese Archdeaconries Rural Deaneries
Diocese of Durham Archdeaconry of Durham Deanery of Durham
Deanery of Easington
Deanery of Hartlepool
Deanery of Lanchester
Archdeaconry of Auckland Deanery of Auckland
Deanery of Barnard Castle
Deanery of Darlington
Deanery of Stanhope
Deanery of Stockton
Archdeaconry of SunderlandDeanery of Chester-le-Street and Houghton
Deanery of Gateshead
Deanery of Gateshead West
Deanery of Jarrow
Deanery of Wearmouth

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References

  1. Prince Bishop was never an official title.[ citation needed ]
  2. Original text of the Durham (County Palatine) Act 1836
  3. "Stancliffe, Rt Rev. David Staffurth". Who's Who . ukwhoswho.com. 2014 (December 2013 online ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc. Retrieved 25 April 2014.(subscription or UK public library membership required)
  4. Durham Diocesan Records (section: "Archdeaconries and the peculiar jurisdiction[...]") (Accessed 15 March 2014)
  5. "White, Francis (Frank)". Who's Who . ukwhoswho.com. 2014 (December 2013 online ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc. Retrieved 15 April 2014.(subscription or UK public library membership required)
  6. "Bain, (John) Stuart". Who's Who . ukwhoswho.com. 2014 (December 2013 online ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc. Retrieved 15 April 2014.(subscription or UK public library membership required)
  7. Sunderland Minster — News from Durham Diocese (Accessed 22 February 2018)
  8. National Archdeacons' Forum — Archdeacons’ News — #33, March 2018 (Accessed 1 May 2018)