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Installation of Paul Murray as Ecumenical Canon at Durham Cathedral - group Chapter House

Paul Murray was installed as one of the first three Ecumenical Canons at Durham Cathedral on Sunday 14 January.

The Dean and Chapter of Durham Cathedral have recently had the opportunity to revise the Cathedral’s Constitution and Statutes following a new Cathedrals Measure being passed by the General Synod and then Parliament, making it possible for up to six Ecumenical Canons to be appointed.

Together with Rev. Prof. David Wilkinson (former Principal of St John's College, Durham) and Rev. Dr Mark Bonnington (Senior Pastor, King's Church, Durham), Paul Murray was installed as one of the first three such Ecumenical Canons on Sunday 14 January at a service in Durham Cathedral. Prof. Mike Higton (Professor of Theology and Ministry) was also installed as a new Lay Canon at the same service.

The role of the Ecumenical Canons is for the Bishop of Durham and the Dean and Chapter of Durham Cathedral to recognise significant ecumenical friends and thereby celebrate the place of all the churches across the region in Christian witness, ministry, and mission.

With that, it is also for the canons to offer guidance from the perspective of their own traditions on the place and role of the Cathedral as a herald of the good news of Jesus Christ and as a place of welcome, worship, witness, and prayer, for all Christians and other interested people of the region and well beyond.

The invitation from Bishop Paul Butler, the Bishop of Durham, came in recognition of all Paul has given to the life of the Catholic Church, and to the wider life of God’s church in this region, and beyond as Professor of Systematic Theology and founding Director of the Centre for the Catholic Studies. Particular mention was made of the contribution he has made to the ecumenical life of the church across the traditions through his pioneering work in Receptive Ecumenism.

Paul says, ‘It was with very great surprise and immense joy that I received the invitation inviting me to become one of the new Ecumenical Canons for Durham Cathedral, and I was delighted to accept. The Cathedral occupies a treasured place in my life and affections, and I am deeply moved and profoundly appreciative of this honour.’

You can find out more about Paul’s work on Receptive Ecumenism at:


Receptive Ecumenism as Transformative Ecclesial Learning: Walking the Way to a Church Re-formed

Photography by (C) John Attle