1. ITV Report

Brexit, bullying and foodbanks: The Bishop of Durham's Christmas message

The Bishop of Durham has delivered his Christmas message Photo: ITV Tyne Tees

The Bishop of Durham has delivered his Christmas message. The Rt Revd Paul Butler, talked about people, who "are not at peace" this year, referring to those who may be on zero hours contracts, or who regularly use foodbanks.

He also spoke about Brexit and youngsters who may be victims of cyber-bullying.

He said: "I meet so many people who are not at peace. There are those, perhaps on a zero hours contract who are worried that yet again they need to use the food bank.

"There are those who are worried about the cost and standard of care of their elderly relative. There are young people worried what their ‘friends’ will say or do if they don’t give in to the cyber bullying. Then there are business owners who don’t know whether or not Brexit will work for them.

"Then again there are those worried about global peace when they see news of North Korea’s latest missile test and Donald Trump’s response. All kinds of things lead us, from all walks of life, to be anxious, fearful and far from at peace."

The Bishop of Durham has given his Christmas message Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

He talked about the Christmas story, which in itself did not appear peaceful: no room for a heavily pregnant woman; Roman occupation enforcing registration at the place of birth; Joseph and Mary becoming refugees in Egypt with their infant son Jesus because a tyrant ruler decides to slaughter all the baby boys under two.

He said: "Mary and Joseph found peace in the midst of the storm because they knew God’s love was at work whatever else appeared to be the case.

"Peace is found in discovering the presence of God even in the darkest, hardest places.

"So here is my inner longing for peace this Christmas. Knowing that there are so many for whom it will not all be joy and delight for it will be lonely, or sad because of a lost loved one; it will be filled with worry because of the debts; it will be awash with fear because of the unknown it is my prayer that somehow the peace of God that is beyond al, understanding will be found by recalling why we have Christmas at all – the birth of a baby who mysteriously is the one who does bring God’s peace to us all."