Home / Events / Bishop Julian’s inauguration: a special day /

Bishop Julian’s inauguration: a special day

The inauguration of the Diocese’s new Bishop, Julian Henderson, has taken place at Blackburn Cathedral today, October 19.

A full report and pictures about the events of a special day will appear on the Diocese website shortly, as well as video clips on the Blackburn Diocese YouTube channel.
Before today's celebrations, York Minster was the venue last week for an historic consecration event event attended by 1500 people.
See links on the right for a consecration report and pictures, and updates on the Bishop's prayer vigil which took place in the week between the two key dates.
All clergy, parishioners and everyone else living in Lancashire can find out a bit more about their new Bishop by watching a video interview on YouTube in which Bishop Julian chats to Joe Wilson from BBC Radio Lancashire.
The interview is an opportunity to get to know a bit about the new Bishop and roams across a number of topics including how Julian came to faith; his views on women bishops and Lancashire’s love of football! The video is available on the new Blackburn Diocese YouTube channel; which launched recently to coincide with Julian’s arrival.
The Consecration Service was led by the Archbishop of York. He said: "It is great to welcome Bishop Julian Henderson as Lancashire’s next Bishop.  He will be a great blessing to the Diocese of Blackburn – join me in praying for his ministry there.” 
See main articles on the home page for more on the consecration. 
The new Bishop's appointment was announced in March and he made his first public appearance at the Blackburn Foodbank to support the work the staff at the Foodbank do on a daily basis to help those in need. He then made his first visit to the Cathedral where he met with the Dean, The Very Rev Christopher Armstrong; staff from the Diocese offices in neighbouring Church House and cathedral workers.

The next Bishop, Julian Henderson, and wife Heather at Blackburn Foodbank

The new Bishop'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 gave the decision her final approval and ratification.
The Venerable Julian Henderson commented: “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."
The next Bishop of Blackburn continued: "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!"
BBC TV news report on the announcement

Julian Henderson is welcomed at the Foodbank by the Rt Rev. John Goddard, Bishop of Burnley

Julian Henderson also spoke of the opportunities for mission his new position affords saying: "Compared to other areas of the country Blackburn Diocese had a stronger response to the question about faith in the most recent 2011 Census. Around 67% of people in the region describe themselves as Christian, compared with 59% nationally."
"There is a strong Christian core running through Lancashire, much like the writing in a stick of the famous Blackpool rock! I want to build up and encourage my fellow Christians in the region to stand up and speak out for what they believe in and to make a difference where it matters – in peoples’ lives. We can grow the Kingdom in this area as much through the works we do as by the words we say."
"There are great opportunities for the church today. I am passionately committed to encouraging church leaders and their families, lay and ordained, in supporting them and their parishes in the front line work of proclaiming the Gospel and serving their local communities."
"It is a tough call to be church today and I am aware of the cost and commitment of many in fulfilling their calling. Without their presence many local communities would be the poorer. I also long to see the church more fully engaged in the mission task given to us, to go and make disciples of all people."
"I believe that knowing Jesus Christ is Good News and I will do whatever I can to speak of Him and encourage others to believe in Him. I hope to be able to boost confidence in this Gospel message and for the Christian community to be more and more unashamed of their faith in Jesus Christ."
Rt Rev. John Goddard, Bishop of Burnley and Acting Bishop of Blackburn, added: "I am delighted to welcome Julian Henderson as our next Bishop. He has the full support of the senior clergy in the Diocese, including myself, as he seeks to bring God’s Word to Lancashire in the years ahead. We are all looking forward immensely to this new era for Blackburn Diocese."

Julian Henderson and his wife Heather with Diocese and cathedral staff at a welcome meeting in Blackburn Cathedral on the day his appointment was announced

Factsheet about the next Bishop of Blackburn

  • Julian Henderson is 59 and was born in 1954.
  • Educated at Keble College Oxford he became an ordained Deacon in 1979 and a priest in 1980.
  • From 1979 to 1983 he was Curate at Islington St Mary; Diocese of London.
  • From 1983 to 1992 he was Vicar of Emmanuel and St Mary in the Castle in Hastings; Diocese of Chichester.
  • From 1992 to 2005 he was Vicar of Holy Trinity Church, Claygate; Diocese of Guildford, where he was also Rural Dean of Emly from 1996 to 2001.
  • In 2005 he was appointed Archdeacon of Dorking.
  • He has also been Honorary Canon of Guildford Cathedral from 2002.
  • He is currently chair of the Church of England General Synod Business Committee.
  • He also supports The Limpsfield Trust which works to provide fun activity holidays for young people from across the UK from all backgrounds.
Other background information
  • In 2010 the Archdeacon was one of 4000 delegates representing 198 countries at The Third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelisation in Cape Town, South Africa … ‘the most representative gathering of Christian leaders in the 2000 year history of the Christian movement’ (Christianity Today).
  • He heard powerful stories from around the world about evangelisation and the importance of placing God at the centre of peoples’ lives; not only speaking about faith, but acting out faith in the Works we do as Christians. It is the importance of action as well as words that led the Archdeacon to choose the Blackburn Foodbank for his first appearance as the next Bishop of Blackburn.
Other personal information
  • Julian Henderson is married to Heather and has two grown-up children, Susannah, 28 and Jamie, 26.
  • In his leisure time he enjoys gardening, design and DIY, walking, reading, tennis and cycling.
Some information about the Foodbank Warehouse
  • Blackburn Foodbank was started with seed money from St Gabriel’s Church of England in Blackburn and opened on November 16, 2012.
  • It is franchised by the Trussell Trust, a national network of foodbanks. Blackburn Foodbank is run by Ros Duerden, a parishioner and former church warden of St Gabriel’s.
  • Since it opened in November 2012 the foodbank has fed 1,346 adults and 712 children. It shifts around a tonne of food every single week.
  • There are around 11 volunteers who help out regularly and donations come from a variety of sources including local churches, both C of E and other denominations; private individuals; local businesses and other faith groups.
  • The foodbank has a solid Christian ethos behind it – supporting people in need and sharing the gospel in an informal way.
  • Find out more at the Foodbank website here:
  • To find out more about volunteering or just making a donation email

Press interest in the announcement was high. It was covered by the BBC (TV and radio); Granada Reports; many local daily and weekly regional newspapers and the Christian press, including Church Times

Other links:

The official announcement from 10 Downing Street

The next Bishop’s message to all Diocese clergy and churches

Goodwill messages from around the Diocese for the next Bishop

The next Bishop of Blackburn thanks all well-wishers

The positive local newspaper editorials on announcement of next Bishop

Special 'announcement edition' of Diocese magazine 'The See'


Selected news coverage:

Lancashire Telegraph, BBC News Online, Church Times, Burnley Express, Lancashire Evening Post, Blackpool Gazette, Surrey Today and the response on Twitter, including tweets from the Archbishop of York.


Bishop updates since the announcement

Dates announced for arrival of new Bishop of Blackburn

Next Bishop moves in

Prayers to be said for new Bishop

Consecration day arrives


homewelcomea church near yousearch for a person search for a person

RSS   Click for our RSS Feed
© 2017  Diocese of Blackburn : Web Design & Content Management System by fat media : Sitemap
Diocese of Blackburn has no responsibility for the content of external links