New Bishop of Blackburn is announced
11:37am Friday 1st March 2013 in News
The new Bishop of Blackburn will be The Venerable Julian Henderson, currently Archdeacon of Dorking.
The Archdeacon is making his first public appearances in Blackburn today, including visiting the town's foodbank, the cathedral and Whalley Abbey.
The Archdeacon’s name was sent to the Prime Minister by the CNC at the end of January and then to Her Majesty The Queen, in her role as head of state and Supreme Governor of the Church of England, who recently gave the decision her final approval and ratification.
The Venerable Julian Henderson said: “To find that I am the person invited to become the next Bishop of Blackburn is extremely humbling. It is an honour to be entrusted with such an important and significant responsibility.
“Heather and I come to the diocese in response to a call from God through His church to serve both His people and the whole wider community in Lancashire. And we do so joyfully with a real sense of expectation and excitement.
“I am very aware of the very significant challenges facing many in Lancashire at a time of austerity and cutbacks and a shortage of jobs. It is no coincidence that this announcement is taking place at a foodbank, one of many round the country, each one a sign of the struggle it is for some to get through the next week. I would hope to be a champion and spokesman for those whose voice is often not heard.
“I am also aware this Foodbank has been supported by the whole community, not just the Christian community, including local Muslims and Buddhists and people of no faith who just want to help people in need.
“Our relationship as leaders sends a vital message to our separate communities about finding good ways of living alongside one another, respecting our differences and working together where we can for the common good.
“I also look forward to meeting and working closely with civic leaders and CEOs of local and County authorities; a partnership in which I believe the church has much to offer.
“At another level I am aware of different deeply held convictions around the diocese on the ordination of women to the priesthood and to the episcopate. Let me be clear, I am in favour of women serving as Bishops and will want to introduce a change in the current diocesan pattern by ordaining women as deacons and priests.
“But I hope my vote at General Synod last November will be a reassurance to those opposed to this development, that I want to be a figure of unity on this matter and will ensure there is an honoured place for both positions within the mainstream of the Church of England. Might Blackburn be a model for the rest of the Church of England!”