Bishop of Durham calls for independent public inquiry into institutionally-based abuse

“Powerful people have engaged in serious abuse and have worked with each other to create opportunities and share their vices and victims. As a nation we have to face up to the seriousness of institutionally based abuse against the most vulnerable in our society, both children and adults, which has gone on in the past and, sadly, continues today” – Bishop of Durham, 26.6.14

14.06.10 Bishop of Durham 5On 26th June 2014, Liberal Democrat Peer Baroness Walmsley led a debate in the House of Lords to take note of the measures being taken by Her Majesty’s Government to prevent and address the abuse of children and vulnerable adults. The Bishop of Durham, the Rt Revd Paul Butler, the Church of England’s lead bishop for safeguarding, took part in the debate. He focused his remarks on needing to listen to the voice of survivors, and put forward a number of measures to reflect this need – including mandatory reporting by professionals, creating safe spaces for victims of abuse, and broadening the law to strengthen preventative measures. He concluded by calling for an independent public inquiry into institutionally-based abuse. Continue reading “Bishop of Durham calls for independent public inquiry into institutionally-based abuse”

Bishop of Durham gives maiden speech in House of Lords

“Young people…have been told that their value and contribution to the world is in work and their economic contribution. They have been told a lie…We have to help our young people to understand their true value as human beings first and foremost—but yes, we have to help them to find good, meaningful work” – Bishop of Durham, 10/6/14

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On 10th June 2014 the Bishop of Durham, Rt Rev Paul Butler, gave his maiden speech to the House of Lords, during the debate on the Queen’s Speech. The Bishop spoke about the attributes and needs of the Durham diocese, his experience of the global church, and his concern for young people’s social and economic welfare. He voiced his support for the Living Wage and plans within the Queen’s Speech for laws to tackle the emotional abuse of children.

This was the seventh contribution to the debate on the Queen’s Speech from the Bishops’ Benches. You can also watch a video of the Bishop delivering the speech on


The Lord Bishop of Durham (Maiden Speech): My Lords, I begin by thanking your Lordships for the way in which I have been welcomed and supported as I have entered this noble House. That support has been full of wisdom, including guiding this Bishop as to how to kneel correctly during Prayers, for which I was extremely grateful. Continue reading “Bishop of Durham gives maiden speech in House of Lords”

Votes – Immigration Bill

Three bishops took part in two vote in the House of Lords yesterday (1st April 2014), on  amendments to the Government’s Immigration Bill, during its Report Stage.

House of Lords Division Lobby
House of Lords Division Lobby

Continue reading “Votes – Immigration Bill”

Introduction of the Bishop of Durham

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On 3rd March 2014 Paul Roger Butler, Lord Bishop of Durham, was introduced and took the oath, supported by the Archbishop of York and the Bishop of Chester, and signed an undertaking to abide by the Code of Conduct.

Photos: Taking the Oath in the Chamber, holding the New Testament; Bishops’ Robing Room, being congratulated on his introduction by his predecessor as Bishop of Durham, the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Justin Welby’s maiden speech in the House of Lords

On 16th May 2012 the House of Lords debated the proposals in the Queen’s Speech for business and the economy. The debate heard the maiden speech of Rt Revd Justin Welby, who as the recently appointed Bishop of Durham, had been introduced to the Lords on 12th January 2012. The text of his speech is below, with extracts of comments by Peers.

DurhamWelby The Lord Bishop of Durham: My Lords, I am astonished to be here for two reasons. First, I am astonished that I am here at all. Secondly, I am astonished at the warm welcome that I have received, for which I very much thank your Lordships and all the staff and people who work in this place, who deal very adequately with Bishops wandering around, bleating miserably that they are lost—or, at least, this particular Bishop. It has been a great privilege to have found myself helped in so many ways. I am also grateful to the noble Baronesses, Lady Wilcox and Lady Royall, for their warm welcome today. I look forward to hearing the maiden speech of the noble Lord, Ashton of Hyde, a little later. Continue reading “Justin Welby’s maiden speech in the House of Lords”