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Bishop of Durham’s name is carved in stone

MASTER ENGRAVER: Durham Cathedral senior stonemason Nigel Mawson carving the name of the new Bishop of Durham in the marble plaque next to the Shrine of St Cuthbert.

MASTER ENGRAVER: Durham Cathedral senior stonemason Nigel Mawson carving the name of the new Bishop of Durham in the marble plaque next to the Shrine of St Cuthbert.

A STONEMASON is adding a new name to a plaque in Durham Cathedral, which lists bishops past and present.

Nigel Mawson is engraving the name of the 74th Bishop of Durham, the Right Reverend Paul Butler, in preparation for his enthronement at the weekend.

Nigel, 52, has spent 36 years working in the cathedral.

It will take him about two days to complete the engraving of the plaque, which is mounted next to the Shrine of St Cuthbert.

“You have to take your time,” Nigel said.

“It’s the type of job where you can not make a mistake.

“The plaque is marble and relatively soft once you get past the surface.

“Working in the cathedral is a great job for a mason.

“There is just so much variety. I’ve been here a lot of years but every day I see things I’ve not seen before. When I’m working on a piece of stone, I often wonder what the mason who last worked on it was like, where did he live and what did he eat?”

Engraving a name is fairly straightforward for a man of Nigel’s skill, but he still relishes the task.

“It is an honour for me to engrave the name of the new bishop on the plaque,” he said. “I’m sure we all hope Bishop Paul is with us for a long time.”

Bishop Paul succeeds Justin Welby, who is now Archbishop of Canterbury.

 

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