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First Easter sermon for new Bishop of Durham

The Right Revd Paul Butler, Bishop of Durham, led a dawn Easter service at Durham Cathedral, in which he spoke of fear and its causes.

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Bishop leads Dawn Vigil at Durham Cathedral

Dawn Vigil fire is lit. Credit: Keith Blundy

The Right Revd Paul Butler, Bishop of Durham, led a dawn service of Initiation and Communion at Durham Cathedral today in which he Baptised five people.

The dawn service, often called the Dawn Vigil, was the first service of Easter Day at the cathedral.

Bishop Paul lights the Easter Paschal Candle. Credit: Keith Blundy

In his first Easter Day service since being enthroned as Bishop of Durham, Bishop Paul gave a sermon in which he spoke of fear and what makes us afraid saying:

"We live in a world where there is much fear. So too on the streets of our communities like Jarrow, Hartlepool, Stockton, Sunderland, Easington and the farms of the Dales there are people who live with deep fears."

"Fears of domestic abuse and violence; fears of long term illness; fears of failing to be able to heat the home and feed the children adequately; fears of no job on leaving school or college; fears of loneliness and hopelessness.”

Bishop Paul concluded by saying: “But there is a fear that takes us forward; it is the 'fear of the Lord'. This is not being afraid of God but it is, in Eugene Peterson's words, 'living responsively and appropriately before who God is, who he is as Father, Son and Holy Spirit.'

Congregation at Dawn Candlelight Service of Light. Credit: Keith Blundy

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