The Right Reverend Justin Welby has been installed as the new Bishop of Durham in a special ceremony at Durham Cathedral.
He previously held the position of Dean of Liverpool before being asked to become the fourth most senior bishop in the Church of England.
He will stage a series of prayer meetings around the area as part of his Prayer for the People campaign.
Before becoming a priest the bishop spent 11 years in the oil industry.
He said he hoped to use his experience in the oil industry in the diocese.
"The North East has very good leadership, but it needs more voices in London who are advocates for this area," the bishop said.
The new bishop was presented with a sword which legend has it was used in medieval times to slay a troublesome dragon.
It is an ancient custom in County Durham which was revived by Dr David Jenkins when he became bishop in 1984.