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Diocese Bids Farewell to Bishop Tom and Maggie


On Tuesday evening, 13th July, people from all over the diocese and beyond packed into Durham Cathedral for a special service of 'celebration and farewell' for Bishop Tom and Maggie Wright.

Pictured right - Following the presentation of flowers to Maggie Wright she and Bishop Tom listen to one of the tributes paid to them during the service.

Among those taking part in the service was the Rt Revd Seamus Cunningham, RC Bishop of Hexham & Newcastle who read the first lesson. 

The Wrights' son Oliver also read a lesson and the Durham Singers, a chamber choir directed by their other son, Julian, sang an anthem by Herbert Howells ('What lovely things thy hand hath made' - a poem by Walter de la Mare).  

Another musical item was a beautiful solo ('Rejoice greatly' from Messsiah) by Rowan Pierce who has often sung for events hosted by Bishop Tom and Maggie at Auckland Castle. 

The prayers were led by Mrs Elizabeth McGurk MBE along with Archdeacon Ian Jagger (pictured left) . Mrs McGurk is a retired Community Chaplain and founder of the Open Gate Project which assists women ex-prisoners - a project with which Maggie has been closely involved. 

And, of course, there were contributions from the Cathedral's own choir, led by Canon James Lancelot, which included Psalm 24, referred to by the Bishop in his sermon

To download a copy of Bishop Tom's sermon click here



In addition to all the people representing many of the parishes across the diocese, invited guests included the Vice Chancellor of Durham University, Professor Chris Higgins, who offered one of the tributes to the Bishop.  Also present were the Mayor of Durham and the Deputy Lieutenant of the County.

Pictured above right -  Canon John Dobson, Area Dean of Darlington and Chair of the House of Clergy, delivering one of the evening’s speeches, and thanking Bishop Tom and Maggie on behalf of the clergy for their various contributions to diocesan life.








‘Just what I’ve always wanted!’ (above left) Maggie Wright looks on as Bishop Tom admires the telescope presented to him as the gift of the diocese.  He is now looking forward to putting it to good use once settled into their new home in Scotland.

After the service, Bishop Tom greets Durham’s Mayor, Councillor Mamie Simmons who was among the many invited guests from the county’s civic, business, educational and spiritual life.

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