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Boards, Councils and Committees

A key part of the Diocesan administration is the work undertaken by various Synods, Boards and Committees and Working Groups. Membership of these bodies is drawn from parishes, clergy, advisers and Bishop's staff. To find out more follow any of the following links: 

Advisory Committee for the Care of the Churches
Bishop's Council and Standing Committee
Board of Education
Board of Finance
Church Buildings Committee
Clergy Retirement Officers
Communications and IT Group 
Diocesan Synod
Durham - Lesotho Diocesan Link
Executive Committee 
General Synod
Glebe Committee
Houses Committee
Liturgical Committee
Mission and Pastoral Committee
Readers' Council 
Closed Churches Uses Committee
Vacancy in See Committee

Click on the year to download the full list of Committee dates for that year

Synodical Bodies
(Addresses not shown are available from our 'Find a Person' database, please click here)

General Synod
Members of Convocation

The Archdeacon of Durham
The Revd D Brooke
The Revd G Buttery
The Revd Dr M M Gilley

Members of the House of Laity of General Synod
Dr A Goudie, 197 Gilesgate, DURHAM DH1 1QN
Dr J H Harrison, 5 Dunelm Court, South Street, DURHAM. DH1 4QX
Sister A Williams, Good Shepherd House, Forest Road, Ford Estate, SUNDERLAND SR4 0DX
Canon F Wood, Ardenlea, 8 Butts Lane, Eaglescliffe, STOCKTON ON TEES TS16 9BT

Diocesan Synod
President: The Bishop of Durham

Vice Presidents:
Chair of House of Clergy - Revd Canon R W Lawrance 

Chair of House of Laity - Dr Jamie Harrison 5 Dunelm Court, South Street, Durham, DH1 4QX

Secretary: Andrew Thurston, Diocesan Secretary, Diocesan Office

The Diocesan Synod is the third link in the Synodical Government chain of Parish; Deanery Synod; Diocesan Synod; General Synod. Lay members are elected by the Houses of Laity of the Deanery Synods, and clerical members are elected by the Houses of Clergy of the Deanery Synods, as representatives of the deanery. Elected members hold office for a period of three years commencing on 1 August in the year in which elections to the Diocesan Synod take place. Members of Diocesan Synod become ex-officio members of their Deanery Synod and Parochial Church Council. They are expected to report back to their Deanery Synod on the work and decisions of the Diocesan Synod, and to represent the concerns and interests of their deanery at the Diocesan Synod. The Diocesan Synod meets twice a year, in May/June and November. Meetings usually take place during daytime on Saturdays.

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Bishop's Council 
Ex officio
The Bishop of Durham
The Bishop of Jarrow
The Dean of Durham
The Archdeacon of Sunderland
The Archdeacon of Durham
The Archdeacon of Auckland
Chair of the House of Clergy
Chair of the House of Laity
Chair of the Diocesan Board of Finance

Archdeaconry of Sunderland – elected:
Revd M M Gilley

Archdeaconry of Durham – elected:
Dr A Goudie
Mr P P Paterson

Archdeaconry of Auckland – elected:
Revd D M Brooke
Mr J Taylor
Mrs H Hopper

In Attendance:
Adviser in Women’s Ministry
Director of Ministerial Development and Parish Support
Local Church Growth and Development Adviser

Andrew Thurston, Diocesan Secretary, Diocesan Office

The aim of the Bishop’s Council is to co-ordinate the life and work of the Diocese in support of the mission of the Church, in accordance with the priorities set by the Bishop and the Diocesan Synod. 

The Council works with the Bishop to develop policies and programmes, and to co-ordinate the work of Boards, Councils and Committees and other groups throughout the Diocese.

It appoints members to Committees and Enabling Groups and as the Standing Committee of the Diocesan Synod, it is responsible for planning the business of Synod, advising it and transacting its business between meetings.

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Diocesan Boards, Councils and Committees

Board of Education
Carter House, Pelaw Leazes Lane, DURHAM. DH1 1TB (0191) 374 6017(0191) 374 6017 Fax (0191) 384 7529

Chair: Ven Stuart Bain

Archdeaconry of Sunderland – elected: Mr R Thorndyke; Revd V Cuthbert

Archdeaconry of Durham – elected: Mr P Blackburn; Vacant

Archdeaconry of Auckland – elected: Mr M Stand; Revd Dr A Miller

Revd M Anderson
Mrs G Booth
Mrs J Cornelius
Mrs J Murray
Mrs A Richardson

In attendance:
Mr M Morrison (01325) 301937(01325) 301937
Mr N Rowark (Adviser for Youth Ministry) (07748) 948192(07748) 948192
Mrs S Pritchard (0191) 374 6017(0191) 374 6017

Mr Paul Rickeard (Director of Education)  Tel: 0191 270 4135  Email:
Mrs Eileen Bell (Bursar) (0191) 270 4141(0191) 270 4141
Mrs Liane Atkin (Assistant Director (Part-time)  Tel: 0191 270 4164
Ms S Taylor
Andrew Thurston (Diocesan Secretary)

Observer Status: Ven P Robinson

The aim of the Board of Education is to ensure young people in Durham Diocese are able to grow in their relationship with Christ and are supported and encouraged in their engagement with God’s mission as a full part of God’s church. To this end the Board is responsible for Diocesan mission and ministry to young people in parishes and schools. In Durham Diocese we believe that parishes and church schools jointly stand at the centre of the Church’s mission to the nation and together enable children, young people and their families to grow in understanding of themselves, their world and the Christian faith. We provide training, resources, events and other support for young people and all those who work directly with them.The Diocesan Board of Education is a statutory body, exercising responsibility on behalf of the Diocese for its church schools. In this capacity it liaises with all Local Education Authorities between the Tyne and the Tees. It also supports work with children and young people in Parishes and is the base for the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser.

See also                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

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Board of Finance

Ex officio:
The Bishop of Durham
The Bishop of Jarrow
The Archdeacon of Sunderland
The Archdeacon of Durham
The Archdeacon of Auckland
Chair of the House of Clergy
Chair of the House of Laity

Deanery representatives:
Chester le Street: Mr C Slowther, 12 Wiltshire Place, Usworth, WASHINGTON. NE37 2NN
Gateshead: Mr D Bell, 24 Atholl, Ouston, CHESTER LE STREET. DH2 1RS
Gateshead West: Mr N Wyrley-Birch, Ryton Grange, RYTON NE40 3UN
Houghton le Spring: Revd S W Osman  
Jarrow: Mr J K Higgin, 11 Laburnum Grove, Cleadon, SUNDERLAND. SR6 7RJ
Wearmouth: Revd J A Bradshaw
Durham: vacant
Easington: Mr D Bowers, Thorncliffe, Durham Lane, Easington Village, PETERLEE. SR8 3BA (Vice Chair)
Hartlepool: Mr A Rogers, 19 Trentbrook Avenue, HARTLEPOOL. TS25 5JN
Lanchester: Ms H Pegum, 12 South Terrace, Cornsay Colliery, DURHAM DH7 9ED
Sedgefield: Mr M Morrison, 92 Washington Crescent, NEWTON AYCLIFFE. DL5 4BE
Auckland: Mr B Kirton, Longmeadows, 120 Low Etherley, BISHOP AUCKLAND  DL14 0HD
Barnard Castle: Mrs F Stenlake, 37 The Bank, BARNARD CASTLE DL12 8PL
Darlington: Mrs P Davison, Sheraton Park, Blackwell, DARLINGTON DL3 8QY
Stanhope: Mr J Straughan, 14 Eden Close, Heighington, DARLINGTON DL5 6RU
Stockton: Ms M Vaughan, 36 Beechwood Road, Eaglescliffe, STOCKTON ON TEES  TS16 0AE (Lay Chair)

Nominated: The Revd Canon S Bamber (Chair)

In Attendance
: vacant (Stewardship Development Officer)

Receives Papers: Ms H Monckton-Milnes, Messrs Smith Roddam, 56 North Bondgate, BISHOP AUCKLAND DL14 7PG (Solicitor)
Revd S Pinnington (Chair of Houses Committee)

Secretary: Andrew Thurston, Diocesan Secretary, Diocesan Office

The Diocesan Board of Finance is both a registered charity and a limited company, and was incorporated in 1923 under the Companies Acts 1908 – 1917. It is the financial executive of the diocese and is charged with the preparation of the annual diocesan budget and annual accounts. It is responsible to the Diocesan Synod, and must also comply with charity and company law. The Board includes an elected representative from each deanery in the diocese. 

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Executive Committee
Chair: Revd Canon S Bamber

The Archdeacon of Auckland
Mr D A Bell
Mr D A Bowers
Mr M Morrison
Ms M Vaughan

Secretary: Andrew Thurston, Diocesan Secretary, Diocesan Office 

Glebe Committee
Chair: Revd Canon S Bamber

The Bishop of Durham
The Archdeacon of Auckland
The Archdeacon of Durham
The Archdeacon of Sunderland
The Vice Chair of DBF
Mr P Coles
Mr J K Higgin
Ms H Monckton-Milnes
Mr P D Moseley

Secretary: Andrew Thurston, Diocesan Secretary, Diocesan Office

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Houses Committee
Ex officio:
The Archdeacon of Sunderland
The Archdeacon of Durham (Vice-Chair)
The Archdeacon of Auckland
Vacant (Secretary, Diocesan Synod)
Revd Canon S Bamber
Andrew Thurston

Elected Clergy:
Revd K J Bagnall
Revd S Pinnington (Chair)

Elected Laity:
Mr J Gibson
Mr A Peart
Mr F A Rogers

Secretary: Mr M Galley, Property Manager/Diocesan Surveyor, Diocesan Office

The aim of the Houses Committee is to provide clergy houses that provide the base for mission in support of the ministry of the Church throughout the Diocese, as well as being a happy and safe home for the family.

The Committee is a committee of the Diocesan Board of Finance, with delegated powers. The Committee manages the construction, purchase and improvement of houses, their inspection, maintenance and repair; and the letting or disposal of surplus property.

See also Housing

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Diocesan Advisory Committee for the Care of Churches (DAC)

The Archdeacon of Sunderland
The Archdeacon of Durham
The Archdeacon of Auckland (Chair)

Mr D Beaumont
Revd R J Cooper  
Mr C Downs 
Mr R D Hird 
Revd Canon R K Hopper 
Mr J B Kendall 
Dr D Mason 
Mr N Moat  
Mr I Ness
Mr R C Norris
Mr M Roberts
Mrs S Robertson
Mr A Rogers
Mrs B Roff
Mr R Sansom
Mrs J A Stokes
Revd M Worthington

Secretary: Mr G W Heslop, Care of Churches Secretary, Diocesan Office

The DAC advises the Chancellor on all applications for permission to carry out works on/to churches and churchyards. Parishes are encouraged to contact the DAC via the Secretary at the Diocesan Office prior to making any application for faculty or other permission.  The members of the DAC are experts in some relevant discipline relating to historic buildings, or have a particular interest in the care or use of church buildings. As such the DAC is well able to offer helpful advice to parishes seeking to maintain their properties or to adapt, extend or improve them. Members serve on the DAC without payment and advice is free to parishes.

See also Care of Church Buildings

Durham Diocesan Liturgical Committee
Chair:  Revd Canon Dr D J Kennedy
Treasurer: Revd M G T Gobbett

Bishop’s Council Nominees:
: Revd D M Brooke, Revd B M Eadon, Revd Canon D C Glover
Laity: Canon L Burton, Mr A Robinson, Mrs C M Robinson

Revd S Clark, Revd Dr M Threlfall-Holmes, Mrs H Stokes

Dean & Chapter Nominee: Canon J Lancelot

Revd Dr G Lloyd

The principal aims of the committee are as follows:

  • To help the people of the diocese towards an effective use of the liturgical opportunities open to them
  • To monitor the use of liturgy within the diocese and to advise the Bishop and parishes on liturgical matters
  • To draft services for diocesan use and offer training in leading worship
  • To liaise with General Synod’s Liturgical Commission and with the parishes in discussion of proposals, introduction of new material and assessment of patterns of worship

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Diocesan Mission and Pastoral Committee
Ex officio:

The Bishop of Durham
The Bishop of Jarrow
The Archdeacon of Sunderland
The Archdeacon of Durham (Chair)
The Archdeacon of Auckland
Diocesan Missioner

Deanery Reps:
Chester le Street: Rev D Tully 
Gateshead: Vacant
Gateshead West: Professor P G Britton, 13 Denham Grove, Winlaton, BLAYDON ON TYNE  NE21 6HR
Houghton le Spring: Revd A Anderson
Jarrow: Mr J W Ellison, 28 Croft Terrace, JARROW NE32 5BN
Wearmouth: Revd R G E Bradshaw
Durham: Vacant
Easington: Revd A Milne
Hartlepool: Revd Dr N R Shave
Lanchester: Vacant 
Sedgefield: Revd M G T Gobbett
Auckland: Revd D Tomlinson 
Barnard Castle: Revd A J Harding
Darlington: Kim Bailey, 17 St. Ann’s Terrace, Darlington DL3 6RF mobile: 07582 62871507582 628715 Email:
Stanhope: : Miss F N Moralee, 5 Gateways, Wolsingham, BISHOP AUCKLAND  DL13 3HW
Stockton: Canon F M Wood, Ardenlea, 8 Butts Lane, Egglescliffe, STOCKTON ON TEES TS16 9BT

Up to five co-options, having regard to the balance of clergy and laity on the committee, links with the DAC, the Houses Committee and any Diocesan Councils and the Board of Education, together with an ecumenical perspective.

Secretary: Mr P W Stringer, Administrative Secretary, Diocesan Office

The Diocesan Mission and Pastoral Committee is constituted under the Pastoral Measure 1983 to assist in furthering the mission work of the diocese and to keep arrangements of pastoral care under review. Suggestions for change may come from the parishes, the Bishop, the Deanery or the committee itself. The committee consults with interested parties and when sufficient consultation has taken place it makes a recommendation to the Bishop who in turn may adopt and forward the recommendation to the Church Commissioners for eventual confirmation as a Pastoral Scheme or Order.

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Church Buildings Committee
Chair: Mr G Taylor

Ex-officio Members:
The Archdeacon of Sunderland
The Archdeacon of Durham
The Archdeacon of Auckland

Revd S Aston
Mr A K H Leech
Revd M G T Gobbett

Secretary: Mr G W Heslop, Care of Churches Secretary, Diocesan Office
The Church Buildings Committee is a sub-committee of the Pastoral Committee. It makes grant and loan facilities available to parishes to assist with the cost of repairs, renovation, re-ordering and improvement of church buildings; it also makes small grants towards the cost of quinquennial inspection of churches. Assistance cannot be given for church contents or church halls. Application forms are available from the Diocesan Office.

See also Care of Church Buildings 

Diocesan Readers' Council

The Rt Revd M W Bryant, Bishop’s House, 25 Ivy Lane, Low Fell,
GATESHEAD NE9 6QD     Tel (0191) 491 0917(0191) 491 0917

Sub Wardens:
Sunderland Archdeaconry
: Mrs H Avent, Mob (07870) 501629(07870) 501629 E-mail
Durham Archdeaconry: Mr I Boothroyd, 1 The Paddock, Sunniside, BISHOP AUCKLAND DL13 4LN
Tel (01388) 730443(01388) 730443 E-mail
Auckland Archdeaconry: Mrs H Hopper, 3 Dorchester Court, Marlborough Drive, 
DARLINGTON DL1 5YD    Tel (01325) 460999(01325) 460999

Mrs C A Lawes, ‘Netherwood’, St Mary’s Avenue, CROOK DL15 9HY   Tel (01388) 76658(01388) 76658

The DRC under the direction of the Warden and the Assistant Directors are responsible for the selection, training and ministry of Readers in Durham. It also works in association with the Central Readers’ Council to advise on Reader ministry in the diocese.

The Council consists of Warden, Sub Wardens, Secretary and representatives elected by deanery.

A group of Readers are available to give a short presentation to deaneries/parishes or to meet individually with anyone wishing to explore this area of ministry. Please contact either the Warden or Secretary to arrange this.


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Closed Churches Uses Committee

The committee is a body under the auspices of the Diocesan Mission and Pastoral Committee whose task is to seek alternative uses for consecrated church buildings that have been closed for regular public worship.


Vacant (Chair)
Diocesan Secretary
Mr J Kendall
Archdeacon of Auckland
Revd Canon A J Harding
Revd S J Pinnington

Officers Mr C Gillhespy (Agent)
Ms E Cosgrif (Church Commissioners’ Representative)
Mr G W Heslop (Secretary)


If you have any queries regarding closed churches matters please contact the CCUC Secretary, Mr Bill Heslop at the Diocesan Office in the first instance.Diocesan Office, Auckland Castle, BISHOP AUCKLAND. DL14 7QJ Telephone: 01388 66000101388 660001  E-mail:

See also Care of Church Buildings

Vacancy in See Committee

The Bishop of Jarrow
The Dean of Durham
Two Archdeacons (appointed by their own number)
The four Proctors in Convocation elected by the diocese
The four elected members of the House of Laity of General Synod
The Chair of the House of Clergy of the Diocesan Synod
The Chair of the House of Laity of the Diocesan Synod (Chair)

Mrs P Davison
Canon F M Wood

Revd Canon S J Bamber
Revd J Hirst
Mrs H Hopper
Ms M Vaughan

Secretary: Andrew Thurston, Diocesan Secretary, Diocesan Office


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Other Diocesan Groups

Communications and Information Technology Task Group
The Archdeacon of Sunderland


Group Members:
Revd Canon D J Bell
Mr P Blackburn
Mr A Thurston
Revd R Jagger
Mr C Luke
Mr A J Nelson

See also Communications and IT Group 

Durham - Lesotho LINK
The Bishop of Durham

Executive Officers:
Revds M R & R F Bianchi, 8 Lindisfarne, Biddick, WASHINGTON.
NE38 7JR (0191) 417 0852(0191) 417 0852 E-mail 


Treasurer: Mr A Dent, 9 The Oval, HOUGHTON LE SPRING. DH4 5DB

LINK Officers: Durham Lesotho: Revds M R & R F Bianchi

Lesotho Durham: Mr S Mabula  E-mail

The LINK works to promote and enhance the ties between our two dioceses through individual, church and community based activities. Through the exchange of ideas, experience and personnel, the LINK strives to enhance the livelihoods of both communities through self-help programmes.  With an active exchange programme in place both dioceses benefit from the rich spiritual and cultural inheritance of their different situations. The Executive Officer is pleased to present an illustrated talk on the work of the LINK and Lesotho. For all communications please contact the Durham Executive Officers, the Revds M R & R F Bianchi.

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 DIocesan Clergy Retirement Officers
: Revd Canon K I Woodhouse

Diocesan Stewardship Development Officer

There are many ways in which the Christian Stewardship Department can give help and advice to parishes whatever their size. The main focus is helping parishes to carry out comprehensive Christian Stewardship Programmes which invite, at their conclusion, a balanced, full response of time, skills and money. An integral part of this process is the holding of a Parish Review Day at which priorities for development and growth.

The GEM (Giving Enables Ministry) Programme is also very popular. This centres on a bespoke PowerPoint Presentation at the main Sunday service and concentrates on financial aspects and invites a purely financial response.

Advice is available regarding the setting up and administration of planned giving and Gift Aid schemes, and we also have a selection of worship resource material that can be used in connection with Christian Stewardship Programmes.

A leaflet 'Parish Share Explained' is now available - click here to download a copy.

For fuller details click here

Stewardship Development Officer: vacant 

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