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Blackburn Cathedral has held a festival for the past few years to foster growth in faith amongst parishes.

Two years ago, there was a Festival of the Eucharist and last year a Festival of Prayer.

The response to these was strong and the events have proved to be a good way for the Cathedral to serve the local church.

The festival is fast becoming an annual fixture and this year our third festival will be on Saturday 19 October. It will contribute to our ongoing ‘focus on discipleship’ as a Diocese by being a Festival of Baptism.

Aimed at lay people and clergy it will explore a number of key areas.

Writing to parish clergy recently, Bishop of Burnley, Rt Rev Philip North, gave more detail: “On this day of worship, learning and fellowship, we will explore two things.

“First, what it means to live out our baptism in every aspect of our daily lives. And second, how we can best use Baptism (and Confirmation) as a means to develop and grow the local church.”

Bishop Philip added: “The keynote speaker will be the Bishop of Chelmsford, the Rt Revd Stephen Cottrell. Bishop Stephen is a compelling speaker, a gifted evangelist and a well-known author.

“We will also be joined by Sandra Millar who is the Church of England’s expert on using life events such as weddings and baptisms as means of sharing the Gospel.

The day will start with the Eucharist at 10.30am and there will also be a range of 10 workshops, listed below, to explore the theme further while the festival will end with a liturgy of renewal of baptismal promises.

Canon Missioner at Blackburn Cathedral, Rev. Canon Dr Rowena Pailing added: “We are delighted once again to be welcoming people from parishes across Lancashire who will be attending the Festival of Baptism.

“Baptism is a key moment in the lives of many people in our local communities and gives us a wonderful opportunity to celebrate together.”

“I look forward to hearing some inspiring talks and participating in some stimulating workshops at our third festival for parishes in as many years.”

Workshops and leaders:

  1. The Rev Sandra Millar – ‘Received with Joy.’ The role of Godparents
  2. Bishop Cyril Ashton -  ‘Beginning and continuing the journey.’ Prayer and  Baptism
  3. Ruth Hassall – ‘In the company of Christ’s pilgrim people’ Living out your Baptism
  4. Bishop Philip North – ‘Dying to sin.’ Making your confession
  5. Sarah Earnshaw – ‘Children of the heavenly Father.’ Sprucing up your children’s ministry
  6. Canon Rowena Pailing – ‘Amazing Grace.’ What is baptism anyway?
  7. Ben Green – ‘God has called you by Name.’ Following-up Confirmation
  8. Sue Mitchell and team – ‘Adding to our Number.’ Developing the ministry of the local church around Baptism
  9. The Rev Tom Woolford  - ‘Slavery to Freedom’. The Biblical foundations of Baptism


  • For further details and to book places, please email Jean Duerden at
  • Please note, there will not be Messy Church this year. This is because the crypt is not available because of another event.

Please click here if you wish a printable version of the poster below.