IT IS an ambitious eight-year programme, but the Bishop of
Durham, the Rt Revd Paul Butler, installed in his
diocese early last year, is planning a series of prayer walks in
all 16 deaneries, in order to get to know his people. "Prayer walks
are a fantastic way of engaging with communities," he says.
"I have taken part in them before, and they are a highlight of
my year, because of the range of people we meet and the places that
we visit. As we walk and pray together, we seek to bless and be
blessed by the people and communities we visit."
He recently embarked on his first walk in West Gateshead
deanery. He began in the central nursery of Whickham Groundwork,
which runs a wide range of community activities in the area,
including helping to prepare people for work. "Groundwork gives a
good picture of what the prayer walks are all about," the Bishop
says. "It is about regenerating, and offering hope, and seeking
blessing in our communities."