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Diocese of Durham
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Anglican bishops descend on Durham for four-day mission event

by Aaron James

The Diocese of Durham's 'Talking Jesus' festival is hosting more than 450 events across the region, in the hope of reaching thousands of people.

They include a comedy night, coffee mornings, a debate and a sports event at Durham County Cricket Ground on Chester-le-Street.

Talking Jesus was kicked off on Thursday with a celebration service at Durham Cathedral, led by the Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu.

The festival has made a point of ensuring every person in the north-east can attend an event relatively close to them and all 16 deaneries have things to attend all the way from the Tyne to the Tees rivers and the Yorkshire Dales to the coast of the North Sea.

Bishops from the various northern dioceses will be helping volunteers across the events share Jesus' love with people.

The Diocese of Durham has set up forty short courses around the region where people can learn about Jesus in more detail after the festival, as a form of discipleship follow-up.

Speaking on Premier's News Hour, Rev Sophie Jelley, director of mission for the Diocese of Durham, said: "For many people at the moment life is quite difficult. There are lots of challenging things going on, both economically and politically, but we believe that Jesus is relevant even in the most difficult of times."

Asking for prayer for Talking Jesus, she added: "I think really just praying for great encounters and brilliant conversations; for the ability to listen to where people are, to be able to hear and respond with the love of Jesus."

Listen to Premier's Northern Correspondent Ian Britton speaking to Rev Sophie Jelley on the News Hour:

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