The Church of England in Lancashire is looking forward to the Consecration and Installation services for the next Bishop of Lancaster, Rev Dr Jill Duff.
The Consecration takes place tomorrow (June 29) at 11am in the historic and ancient York Minster, and led by the Archbishop of York, the Most Rev and Rt Hon Dr John Sentamu.
It will be followed next week on July 3 by Jill’s official welcome into the Diocese, with her Installation Service at Blackburn Cathedral which begins at 7.30pm. All are welcome.
On social media there will be live tweeting across both days on Twitter via @cofelancs and a Facebook Live link can be accessed via Facebook/cofelancs. On Twitter Jill is active on @JillLCDuff, as is the Bishop of Burnley, Rt Rev Philip North (@bpburnley).
People from Parishes across the County are expected to travel across the Pennines for the service at the Minster on Friday morning. They will join more than 40 Bishops who will make the trip to York from around the country. The Bishops attending will also include Jill’s future episcopal colleagues from Blackburn Diocese, Rt Rev Julian Henderson, Bishop of Blackburn and Bishop Philip.
Also in attendance will be the Archbishop of Wales, The Most Rev John Davies, as well as contingents of people representing various stages of Jill’s life and career so far.
The Bishop-designate is married to Rev Prof Jeremy Duff, who is Principal of the St Padarn’s Institute in the Church in Wales, and they have two sons, Robbie, aged 13 and Harry, who is aged 10.
There will be a number of very personal touches in the Consecration service, including a reading from the Prophecy of Ezekiel by Jill’s sons, while the sermon will be delivered by her friend Rev Canon Kate Wharton, Vicar of St Bartholomew, Roby, in Liverpool Diocese and Assistant National Leader for New Wine. Kate is also Godmother to Jill’s eldest son.
Speaking today Jill said: “I am so looking forward to Friday and I have been conscious of the many who have been praying for me since the announcement that I would be the next Bishop of Lancaster.
“It is a huge honour to be part of a consecration service which centres around calling down the Holy Spirit for the office and work of a bishop in the Church of God.
"My prayer is that the same Spirit will fire and equip all who come, whether it is for those who are committed members of the Church or for those whom this is a rare venture into a church service.
“There will be people attending from across my career - from my earliest days working for Esso through to my time as Director of St Mellitus.
"Also in attendance will be people from St Paul's, Widnes, where I planted and led a new congregation as part of the South Widnes Team, plus a Welsh contingent from my most recent parish, led by the Archbishop of Wales.
“I am also delighted that so many people from my new Diocese will be making the trip across the Pennines from Lancashire to Yorkshire for the day!”
Bishop Julian added: “Bishop Philip and I are praying for Jill and her family as she makes the transition into what will be a very different role. We ask the whole Diocese to join us in those prayers.”