New Bishop of Durham vows to fight poverty

Bishop Paul signs up to the Durham County Credit Union with DCCU Manager Sid Rooke and DCCU Collector Avril Tough
Bishop Paul signs up to the Durham County Credit Union with DCCU Manager Sid Rooke and DCCU Collector Avril Tough
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THE man destined to become Bishop of Durham has underlined his commitment to fighting poverty as he prepares to take up his post.

The appointment of the Right Reverend Paul Butler, currently Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham, as the Bishop Designate was announced on Thursday.

As he gets ready to fill the role, he visited Easington Colliery’s Cafe Together Project, which offers meals at the village’s Methodist church.

During his time at the project, he signed up as a member of Durham County Credit Union as he pledged to tackle poverty and committed himself to helping children and young people, which are priorities set out by the diocese to encourage people to get involved in the Church.

Bishop Paul said: “These are important issues for all communities, but never more so than here in the North East today.

“Tackling poverty together must be a priority. I am a big supporter of credit unions. I care deeply about the effect of pay-day loan companies, and I am also worried about loan sharks, but, while criticising them, we have to offer an alternative.

“Credit unions are one of the ways to help people avoid pay-day loans and loan sharks.

“I will be looking at ways in which the Church can help people, perhaps by offering them advice with their finances.”

Sid Rooke is manager of the 12-year-old union, which has 3,200 adult and 1,500 junior members.

He said: “We are delighted the Bishop has joined our credit union, it will help raise the profile of what we do.”

Bishop Paul has also praised food banks run by communities.