New Durham bishop wants your prayers for Sunderland

New Bishop of Durham, the Right Rev Justin Welby.
New Bishop of Durham, the Right Rev Justin Welby.
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WORLD peace, racial tolerance, new toilets for Sunderland’s train station... what would you like a new Bishop to pray for?

Wearsiders are being invited to come forward with suggestions for a marathon prayer session.

The newly-appointed Bishop of Durham, the Right Rev Justin Welby, will be taking a tour of his diocese in the run up to Christmas as he reaches out to get to know the people he serves.

Ahead of Bishop Justin’s visit to Sunderland Minster later this month, he is asking for suggestions on subjects to pray on during his four-hour session.

Rev Martin Anderson, of Sunderland Minster, said: “He has been thinking about his arrival in the Diocese of Durham and in the region and he has chosen to visit a few locations across the North East.

“He is now hoping that people will join him to pray about local, national, regional and global issues.”

The prayers can be about anything from rising unemployment and the global economy to recent deaths and illnesses.

Mr Anderson said: “It can be something as basic as praying for the people who have lost their jobs today, or as challenging as a prayer for stability in the UK economy.

“It could be a prayer in memory of those who served the city in the mines or in the shipyards, or for there to be more opportunities in education and commerce.”

As well as turning their hand to writing prayers, Wearsiders are being invited to join Bishop Justin in prayer at the Minster when he arrives on Tuesday, November 22.

“He understands very wisely and humbly that his role is one of service and leadership in the region,” Mr Anderson said.

“He wants to have ownership of people’s concerns, hopes and aspirations.

“This is quite an unusual move and something I have not experienced before.

“I believe he is looking forward to getting to know the people of the region, which he will be working alongside.”

Echo readers can pen their own prayers or suggest subjects they would like Bishop Justin to pray about.

These should be sent to or before noon on Thursday, November 17.

Bishop Justin will be at the Minster from 10am to 4pm on November 22.

Twitter: @sunechochief

SUNDERLAND’S four-hour prayer session forms part of his bigger Prayer of the People initiative.

Bishop Justin, pictured, is also inviting people to go online and submit their prayers via social networking websites Facebook and Twitter.

The former Dean of Liverpool Cathedral, he is no stranger to Durham having studied theology and trained for priesthood at Cranmer Hall and St John’s College in the city from 1989 to 1992.

To find the Bishop on Facebook, visit or on Twitter at