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Further update on Diocese's response to Manchester attacks

As more news about the Manchester bomb attacks emerges, a selection of updates follow on how the Diocese of Blackburn (The Church of England in Lancashire) continues to respond in a variety of ways: 
  • PRAYER EVENT: Rt Rev John Goddard, the former Bishop of Burnley, who is now an Honorary Assistant Bishop in our Diocese, led a vigil attended by several hundred people in Tarleton yesterday evening in memory of the two local girls killed in the attack. You can read local coverage of that event here 
  • SCHOOL VIGIL: Meanwhile Rt Rev Philip North, Bishop of Burnley, attended what he described as a 'moving vigil of prayer' yesterday afternoon at Bishop Rawstorne School, the former school of one of the young people killed in the atrocity.
  • MINUTE’S SILENCE: The Dean of Blackburn, The Very Rev Peter Howell-Jones represented the Diocese at an inter-faith vigil and minute’s silence for the victims and injured which was held in Blackburn town centre today and was attended by other faith and civic leaders.
  • BISHOPS’ MESSAGE: Our three Bishops, Rt Rev Julian Henderson, Bishop of Blackburn; Rt Rev Geoff Pearson, Bishop of Lancaster and Bishop Philip issued a joint statement yesterday in response to the attacks. You can read that statement here.
  • CONDOLENCE BOOK: Prayers have been said at the Diocesan Cathedral in Blackburn where a minute’s silence was held at midday today and a book of condolence is now available to sign.
  • STAFF REMEMBER: Staff at the Diocesan Offices at Clayton House on the edge of Blackburn town centre also paused to pray and remember all those affected by the attack at midday.
  • FAITH FORUM: Meanwhile Pendle Forum of Faiths – which includes Anglican representatives – held a public meeting and vigil today for those affected by the bomb attack.
  • SCHOOL SUPPORT: All church schools in the Diocese have been offered ongoing support and prayers by the Diocesan Board of Education, in a message sent to headteachers from the Director of Education, Stephen Whittaker.
  • CHANCE TO PRAY: Opportunities to #prayformanchester will also be available in many other churches across the Diocese today and all this week. Follow @cofelancs on Twitter for the latest tweets about events taking place or log on to for your nearest Anglican churches.
  • THY KINGDOM COME: Finally for now, tonight at Blackburn Cathedral in Blackburn town centre, the whole Diocese was already coming together for the beacon launch event service for the national and international 'Thy Kingdom Come' 10-day prayer initiative. While this event is still taking place, planning is under way for people from our parishes to have time to reflect together and pray about the events in Manchester during the service. The prayer service begins at 7.30pm and Bishop Julian has sent a further message across the Diocese this afternoon encouraging as many people as possible to attend and participate.
Ronnie Semley

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