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Last Updated: Monday, 13 October, 2003, 06:11 GMT 07:11 UK
New Bishop of Durham enthroned
Rt Rev Tom Wright, Bishop of Durham
The new bishop was born in Northumberland
The new Bishop of Durham has described the north-east of England as "a garden gone wrong".

The Right Reverend Tom Wright was speaking at his enthronement at the historic Durham Cathedral.

More than 200 people gathered outside the cathedral on Sunday, as the new bishop arrived after a week-long pilgrimage of his new diocese.

The bishop's sermon was his first opportunity to preach to his new congregation.

But he criticised the region's continuing unemployment problems and highlighted ongoing financial issues affecting farmers.

He said: "I have seen the situation for myself, walking around the housing estates with 50% unemployment in parts of South Shields and elsewhere in the region.

Problem areas

"I have also talked to farmers in Upper Weardale, who are facing debts just as unpayable as those of Zambia."

But during the two-hour service, he said he had seen projects set up to help some problem areas, which had given him hope for the future.

Born in 1948, the new bishop was brought up in Northumberland and is a life-long supporter of Newcastle United.

He was educated at Sedbergh, in Cumbria, and at Oxford University, where he studied for the ministry at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford, and was ordained as Junior Research Fellow and Junior Chaplain at Merton College.

He has written over 30 books, both at the scholarly level and for a popular audience, and has broadcast regularly on radio and television.

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