Bishop's Christmas Date with Inmates; Churchman to Visit Jail before City Service

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Byline: Neil McKay ? 0191 201 6007 ? neil.mckay@ncjmedia.co.uk

THE new Archbishop of Canterbury is planning to spend Christmas morning in jail - and he will have a police chief for company.

Bishop Justin Welby, currently Bishop of Durham, is to conduct the morning service in Durham Prison at 9.15am on Christmas Day - then he will move a few hundred yards to the city's cathedral to lead a service there.

Ron Hogg, the newly-elected Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Durham, has accepted an invitation to the prison service.

Mr Hogg, who this week completes his first month as Durham's PCC, said the invitation from prison governor Tim Allen was one of the more unusual he had received since taking on the role.

He said: "It is an invitation I was delighted to accept, but I must admit I didn't expect to be spending Christmas morning behind bars when I was elected to this job.

"According to the invitation, the next Archbishop of Canterbury is conducting the service."

Mr Hogg said he also intended to visit police stations in the county on Christmas Day.

"As a former serving officer I remember what it was like to work on that day. I will be popping into the office to chat to the lads and lasses to keep them company.

"I think they will appreciate the visit as a show of support," he added.

Mr Hogg said he had accepted numerous invitations during his first month as PCC. …