Our Christian Faith
Durham Cathedral is a Christian place of worship, although we welcome people of all faiths or none.
What is Christianity?
As Christians, we believe in God who created the world and all there is, who loves and cares for his creation and is grieved when we sin and spoil the world. In order to save us from our sin and to restore our broken communion with God, God took human flesh and, as Jesus Christ, was born among us, lived a sinless life and was crucified and died. On the third day, which we celebrate as Easter Day, God raised him from the dead and, after appearing to many people, he ascended to heaven where he reigns in glory. Ten days after the ascension, God the Holy Spirit empowered the early disciples to bear witness to Jesus Christ as Lord and saviour, and in the 2000 years since then the Christian faith has been proclaimed throughout the world. We await the second coming of Jesus Christ to be our merciful judge and to bring all things to completion as God's kingdom comes on earth as it is in heaven.
We believe that God is active in the world today through the power of the Holy Spirit, and that we are called to responsible care of an involvement in God's world, both the natural creation and among all people. Throughout the centuries Christians have been actively involved in caring for the poor, the sick and the needy, and in peace and justice issues. We believe that, in the birth, life, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ, God has shared our life and opened the way for us to share God's life both now and in the age to come. When we turn to God, however falteringly, God in his mercy and love will meet with us.
Whilst you do not have to go to a church to pray, Durham Cathedral is a place where, over the centuries, millions of people have come in prayer and pilgrimage. Today, many people come here today seeking God, or seeking peace and direction in their life. There is a Chaplain on duty in the Cathedral most days. He or she is there to meet visitors and to be available for anyone who would like the opportunity for a quiet conversation. If you have any questions about the Christian faith, or want someone to talk to about anything that is troubling you, please ask one of the stewards to find the Chaplain. Our shop has many books that can help adults and children to understand more about the Christian faith and what it means to be a Christian.
If you want to find out more about the Christian faith, visit the Church of England's website.
If you want to explore the connection between faith, work and the world, visit ‘After Sunday,’ a project established by The Revd Peter Sinclair, a Minor Canon at the Cathedral.
If you want to pray but are not sure how to do so, you will find simple, practical guidance at www.cofe.anglican.org/worship/learnpray/.
Here are three prayers that we provide for people who want to pray in the Cathedral. This prayer is helpful if you light a candle to help you pray. It is adapted from a French prayer.
I do not know how to pray.
I do not know what to say.
I do not have much time.
This candle I light is:
something of what I have
something of my time
something of myself
that I leave before the Lord.
This light which shines stands for
My prayer that I continue to offer
Even as I leave this place.
Jesus taught his disciples to pray what we call The Lord's Prayer. It is the prayer that Christians all over the world hold in common.
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven,
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours
now and for ever.
Lord Jesus Christ,
Son of the living God,
Have mercy on me a sinner.
Short prayers for many different situations that we face day by day can be found on the Invitation to Prayer website.