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Lancashire welcomes the new Dean of Blackburn

The Collation, Induction and Installation ** of the new Dean of Blackburn took place on Saturday at Blackburn Cathedral.

The Very Rev Peter Howell-Jones, 55, comes to Blackburn Diocese (The Church of England in Lancashire) from his previous role as Vice-Dean of Chester Cathedral.

Those present at the service included the Bishop of Blackburn, Rt Rev Julian Henderson; the Bishop of Lancaster, Rt Rev Geoff Pearson; the Archdeacon of Lancaster, The Venerable Michael Everitt; the Archdeacon of Blackburn, The Venerable Mark Ireland and the Canon Sacrist of Blackburn Cathedral, Canon Andrew Hindley. They were joined by the Dean of Chester, The Very Rev Professor Gordon McPhate.

The new Dean was chosen via an appointment panel chaired by The Rt Hon Jack Straw, former MP for Blackburn and former Foreign Secretary.
  • View album of pictures from Saturday’s event on Flickr by clicking here and remember to follow!
  • View service highlights and don't forget to subscribe to our Diocesan YouTube channel here.
  • View a recording of the whole service taken from Facebook Live by clicking here and remember to like our page
  • Listen to the new Dean speaking on BBC Radio Lancashire here (at 2h 09m 50s)
  • View tweets from Saturday's event on Twitter @cofelancs - click here and remember to follow us!
  • Watch an introductory video filmed at the announcement of Dean Peter’s appointment here on the Diocesan YouTube channel.
As well as taking overall charge of Blackburn Cathedral as Dean of Blackburn, the new Dean will be a key member of the Diocesan Bishop’s Leadership Team. Peter is married to Siân and they have four grown-up children.

Speaking after the service Dean Peter said: “I have been overwhelmed by the level of support and the turnout today. It was lovely to see so many people here from so many different parts of the Diocese. The weather has been fantastic and I am pleased to be coming home, as a Lancashire lad born and bred. 

“I will now be taking time to listen to people and hear more about the current issues in the town and around the Diocese and I am looking forward to exploring how Blackburn Cathedral can continue to develop and live out its aim to be ‘Good News for Lancashire’.”

He continued: “The Diocese is so clearly focussed on growth and mission through Vision 2026: Healthy Churches Transforming Communities and I hope to lead the Cathedral in actively contributing to this work in the years to come.”

The Cathedral’s Canon Sacrist, Andrew Hindley added: “It has been a great day. The service successfully mixed tradition with modernity and we hope Peter feels affirmed in his ministry.”

And Bishop Julian commented: “I'm thrilled we have now got to this moment. Peter is just the right kind of person to help us with our leadership here in the Diocese. I am looking forward to seeing how the Cathedral will contribute to our Vision work under Peter’s guidance and to working with him for many years to come.”

The service on Saturday was attended by clergy and parishioners from across Lancashire, alongside civic representatives, including Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire, The Rt Hon Lord Shuttleworth and Lady Shuttleworth. 

Also at the Cathedral was Councillor Faryad Hussain and Miss Sariah Hussain representing Blackburn with Darwen Council and the Mayors and Mayoresses of Burnley, Chorley, Preston, Hyndburn, Ribble Valley, West Lancashire, Wyre and Rossendale Councils.

Additional visiting dignitaries included the Dean Emeritus of Braunschweig Cathedral, The Very Rev Joachim Hempel and the Dean of Bloemfontein Cathedral, Fr Mosokotso Lazarus Mohapi. Both Cathedrals are in Lancashire’s ‘link Dioceses’ of Braunschweig, Germany and Free State, South Africa.
** Explanatory notes about the Collation, Induction and Installation
The Collation: The Right Reverend Julian Henderson, Bishop of the Diocese of Blackburn, hears the Dean Designate declare the necessary oaths, reads the letter of Institution, and then blesses Peter and his family.
The Induction: The Archdeacon of Blackburn, The Venerable Mark Ireland, inducts the newly collated Vicar (Canon Peter) into the Benefice of St Mary with St Paul Blackburn, handing him the keys of the Cathedral and inviting him to toll the Cathedral bell.
The Installation: At the request of the Bishop, the Canon Sacrist, Canon Andrew Hindley, installs Peter as Dean of Blackburn. He is presented with a Canon’s scarf, vested in his cope, assigned his stall and blessed by the Canon Sacrist.

Ronnie Semley

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