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New for 2022, Durham Cathedral Institute will facilitate public discussions of current affairs and issues affecting the North East of England.

Promoting debate and discussion

The Institute seeks to create opportunities for people in the North East to engage with experts and public figures on the major social, political and ethical issues of our time.



Launching our programme of events

The Institute's first event was a lecture from former BBC Moscow Correspondent Bridget Kendall on the context of the war in Ukraine on 11 April.

Further Institute events are planned for 2022 on the themes of ‘levelling up’ the North and the future of education.


Support the Institute

If you or your organisation are interested in supporting the work of the Institute, contact Matthew Mills, Head of Development at

Upcoming Institute event

Levelling-up or Left Behind?

Friday 7 October, 7.30pm

Join two leading experts and public figures, Dr Fiona Hill and Professor John Tomaney, both from the North East to discuss and debate the restoration of communities and the renewal of opportunity and social mobility.

Book a free ticket

About Fiona Hill

Fiona Hill is a native of Bishop Auckland where her father worked as a coal miner and her mother as a midwife. After studying at the University of St. Andrews, she won a scholarship to study at Harvard University where she earned a PhD in Russian history.

From 2006 to 2009, Fiona was an intelligence analyst under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. In 2017, she was appointed by Donald Trump as Deputy Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Europe and Russia at The White House National Security Council. In 2019, she testified at President Trump’s first impeachment trial. She is now Robert Bosch Senior Fellow, Center on the United States & Europe at The Brookings Institution, Washington, DC.

Fiona is author of There Is Nothing for You Here: Finding Opportunity in the 21st Century (Mariner Books, 2021) and co-author of Mr. Putin: Operative in the Kremlin (Brookings Institution Press, 2015). She has become a major public figure in the US and UK, commenting on US domestic politics and global affairs. She has worked extensively on social mobility and community regeneration in the US, UK, and Germany.

About John Tomaney

John Tomaney is a native of Sacriston, County Durham and is currently Professor of Urban and Regional Planning at University College, London. John’s research concerns development of cities and regions as socioeconomic, political, and cultural phenomena and the role of public policy in their management. He focusses especially on questions of the governance of local and regional economies, including questions of spatial planning.

Upcoming partner event

From Childhood to Prison: Three Perspectives


Saturday 8 October, 9.15am-12.15pm

Prior’s Hall, Durham Cathedral (access through The College from The Bailey)


The Prison Symposium is an annual seminar to mark Prisons Week.  In 2022, this event is in partnership with the recently launched Durham Cathedral Institute. The seminar is chaired by Rt Revd Sarah Clarke, Bishop of Jarrow, and key speakers and topics include: 

  • Sir Martin Narey, Prisons: Society’s Responsibility
  • Prof. Raymond Arthur, Children in the Criminal Justice System
  • Dr. Rona Epstein, Mothers, Children and Prison


Past Institute event

War in Ukraine: Durham Cathedral Institute lecture

An evening lecture at Durham Cathedral from Bridget Kendall, a former BBC Moscow correspondent. Drawing on decades spent reporting on Russia’s role on the world stage, Bridget put the war in Ukraine in its political and historical context.

Watch a recording of the event