THE Bishop of Durham has spoken of the hardship of Covid-19 and the renewed importance of caring for one another.
In his Christmas message for 2020, The Rt Revd Paul Butler said: “We all know this has been a really tough year for the region, as part of a nation and as part of the whole wider world.
“We’ve had to do things to protect one another and to protect ourselves.
“I want to remind us that actually, the very first Christmas story also happened at a time when government decisions meant people were having to do things that they would rather not have done.
“Joseph and Mary were in Bethlehem because the Roman Emperor insisted that they travelled for a census to be taken.
“And yet, that very happening, lead to good news arriving.
“Good news that the shepherd heard first, good news that God’s love was being expressed to the world in the birth of Jesus.
“So for the region, yes, it’s been tough, we need to encourage and support one another, as we continue through this really difficult time.
“But may we hear together at Christmas, that God still brings good news to us. Because he loves us.
“May this Christmas, we hear good news in the midst of all the difficulties. I wish you all a very Happy Christmas.”
At Easter, the Bishop of Durham issued his thanks to those helping the nation through the coronavirus pandemic, paying tribute to and praying for NHS staff and carers including his own daughter who works at a London hospital.