The Church of England in Lancashire has a new Diocesan Registrar.
Rev Paul Benfield, most recently a Vicar in Fleetwood on the Fylde Coast, was admitted to the office of Registrar yesterday by the Rt Rev Julian Henderson, Bishop of Blackburn.
The Admission to Office took place during Evensong at the region’s Anglican Cathedral in Blackburn.
Father Paul was Vicar of St Nicholas, Fleetwood prior to his appointment as Registrar. He has also held a number of clergy positions in other Dioceses and is a Barrister, having studied law at Newcastle University in the 1970s before practising at the Chancery Bar in Newcastle.
In his role as Registrar, Mr Benfield will provide legal advice to the Bishop and the Archdeacons, PCCs and parish clergy as well as diocesan officers and committees.
As Registrar of the Consistory Court, Mr Benfield will also ensure the efficient running of what is known as the faculty* system and support His Honour Judge John Bullimore in his work as Chancellor.
In addition to his duties as Registrar, he will also fulfil the role of Assistant Priest (half time) of the parish of Burnley St Andrew with St Margaret and Burnley St James and the parish of Burnley St Mark.
Mr Benfield said today: ‘It's a huge privilege to be appointed as Diocesan Registrar to the Bishop of Blackburn. This is an exciting time for the Diocese, with Vision 2026 Healthy Churches Transforming Communities now at the heart of everything we do.
“I am looking forward to working with clergy and churchwardens across the County in my new role and supporting their work for the Diocese.”
Bishop Julian added: “The importance of good legal advice is essential for all clergy and church officers in Lancashire so I have been delighted to welcome and admit Paul to his new role as Diocesan Registrar today at the Cathedral.
“He brings an important combination of legal experience and extensive knowledge of the County from his time already served here as a Vicar and he will be a tremendous asset to our work as a Diocese going forward.”
(* Faculty jurisdiction is the process that allows the Church of England to care for alterations to its buildings outside the secular Listed Building system.)