Sending Out The 25: Church Of England Bishops Head To Durham For Weekend's Evangelism

When Jesus sent out the 72 to preach the good news he warned them they were 'like lambs among wolves'.

The sleepy northern city of Durham is unlikely to offer the same level of hostility as first century Palestine. Nevertheless that is the destination for 25 Church of England bishops plus all their staff next weekend for four days of evangelism.

The Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, at a previous mission event.Keith Blundy

The mass outreach team includes two of the most senior figures in the CofE in the Archbishop of York and the Bishop of Durham. And with the prospect of more than 450 community events including abseiling and late night 'Street Pastor' care for the inebriated, the Church leaders will be hoping Jesus' promise of 'nothing will harm you' will extend to them. 

The 'Talking Jesus Durham' event is the third mission by bishops from the northern section of the CofE after one in Blackburn in 2016 and one in Sheffield in 2015.

The four days of events starts with a service led by the Archbishop of York, in Durham Cathedral on Thursday March 2 before the teams disperse across the diocese from the river Tyne to the river Tees.

Dr John Sentamu said: 'Jesus came to bring the very life of God as a gift to all of us. His resurrection makes it possible for us to live the life he lived. The heart of the Christian faith is about having an encounter with Jesus – an encounter which transforms and brings hope and love.'

Rt Rev Paul Butler, Bishop of Durham, added: 'In this diocese, we're all about blessing our communities in Jesus' name for the transformation of us all.

'What greater blessing can we offer than an introduction to Jesus? What could be more transformative than coming to know him? Just imagine: one long weekend; 25 bishops; hundreds of events; thousands hearing about Jesus and having their lives transformed.'