Here is the announcement from the diocese of Hexham and Newcastle, released today.
The Bede Chair of Catholic Theology:
Professor Lewis Ayres, an English lay Catholic theologian currently teaching at Emory University in Georgia U.S.A, has been appointed as the first Bede Chair of Catholic Theology in Durham University.
Professor Ayres is also an active member of his local parish and has a real commitment as a catechist. It is hoped that he will be able to take up his new responsibilities in the new academic year 2009.
A number of diocesan trustees, representatives of the Sisters of Mercy (Oaklea) and other clergy and people from the Diocese were present at the public presentations at the beginning of the two day interview process on 20-21 April.
Very many thanks to Fr Michael Campion, Mr Austin Donohoe and Mr Paul Murray for their hard work in acquiring the necessary funds for this particular initiative in Durham University. It is a remarkable achievement.
Thanks also to Archbishop Vincent Nichols and Jim O'Keefe for their participation over the two days of Interviews. We look forward to welcoming Professor Ayers and his family into the diocese.