The next Bishop of Lancaster, Bolton-born Rev Dr Jill Duff, 45, has recorded a video message to the Diocese and the people of Lancashire which is now available to view on YouTube.
Jill is currently the founding Director of the St Mellitus College, North West, which is the first full-time ordination course in the North West for over 40 years, offering context-based ordination training and theology courses.
She went to Bolton School before studying at Christ College, Cambridge and Worcester College, Oxford. Several years in the oil industry followed before Jill trained for the ministry at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford.
Watch the video message ...
Album of pictures from the announcement day on our Flickr feed.
You can also click the links below to listen to several interviews which aired on BBC Radio Lancashire in the week of the announcement.
You can also listen to an interview with Jill on Premier Radio ...
What follows are some written welcomes to Jill from the Archbishop of York and senior clergy of our Diocese.
"I am delighted that Jill will be joining the Episcopal Team in the Diocese of Blackburn. As Bishop of Lancaster she will bring her gifts as a Theological Educator to refresh theological wisdom in the Diocese.
“We are all rejoicing at her nomination and praying for her to flourish in her calling as Bishop in the Church of God.
“Our prayers too are with the family as they adjust to her new role as Bishop. Her Ordination as Bishop in the Church of God, in York Minster in June, will be a celebration for us all. Praise the Lord!”
The Archbishop of York, The Most Rev and Rt Hon John Sentamu
"Bishop Philip and I are delighted to welcome Jill as a new member of the episcopal team here in the Diocese.
“She comes to us with a wealth of experience; a passion for prayer and for spreading the Gospel. In Jill we have a new Bishop who will make a significant contribution to the life of the Church of England in Lancashire and we look forward to her consecration in York in June.
“I want to make it clear that I see Jill’s appointment as another sign that the Anglican Church in Lancashire is modelling the principles of ‘mutual flourishing’ in the Church of England.
“I will soon have a female episcopal colleague alongside another from the traditionalist catholic constituency who will both serve the whole Diocese and will have my wholehearted support in carrying out their important work.
“Please remember Jill and her family in your prayers as she prepares for this important new role.”
Rt Rev Julian Henderson, Bishop of Blackburn
“The commitment to mutual flourishing enshrined in the five guiding principles makes possible the kind of fruitful working relationship that I am looking forward to having with Jill in her new role.
"I am convinced that she will support and encourage Anglicans in Lancashire of all traditions.
“Jill and I have worked together on the development of the Leadership Hub at St James and we co-hosted a seminar in Preston just two weeks ago for clergy from the most deprived parishes in Lancashire.
“Her insight and clear-sightedness about the ways we can be reaching out to people in deprived urban settings was tangible and the 40 or so clergy who attended were enthused by her encouraging and supportive words.”
Rt Rev Philip North, Bishop of Burnley
"It is with great pleasure that I welcome Jill to this part of Lancashire. In Jill we have someone with a passion for Jesus and a love of Lancashire and its people"
Archdeacon Michael Everitt, speaking at the announcement said:
"I am delighted to welcome Jill to the diocese. Her passion for planting churches and her experience in growing leaders will be a tremendous asset as we seek to take forward Vision 2026."
Archdeacon Mark Ireland
"Very much looking forward to working with Jill who will certainly bring a passion for sharing the good news of Jesus Christ and encouraging new ways of being church. This is an exciting and innovative appointment for our forward-looking Diocese.”
The Very Rev Peter Howell-Jones, Dean Of Blackburn
"I would like to add my welcome to Jill and look forward to working with her. This appointment shows a clear commitment to mutual flourishing and the five guiding principles as she works alongside Bishop Philip and Bishop Julian and brings her gifts to the Diocese."
Rev Canon Fleur Green, Bishop's Adviser for Women's Ministry
It is good news for our Diocese that Jill will join the episcopal team alongside Bishop Julian and Bishop Philip, and the many gifts she brings will complement their ministry in the Diocese. At this time when our commitment to the principles of our Diocesan Vision 2026 is focussing on discipleship, witness and growing leaders, her experience will help us grow in confidence as we find new ways of being church in the 21st Century.
Rev. Chris Newlands, Vicar of Lancaster Priory. The Priory also has close connections to the Marsh Community Centre where the announcement event took place