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More than 100 Zumba exercise fans from all over Lancashire took over Blackburn Cathedral for a two-hour charity ‘Zumbathon’.

Inspired by a previous event at Chester Cathedral, the huge crowd of fitness fans gathered in the aisles of the Cathedral on November 16 as modern Latin Zumba rhythms echoed round the ancient walls for the special Children in Need fundraiser.

The two-hour ‘Zumbathon’ took place on Friday evening and was promoted by The Church of England in Lancashire’s dedicated ‘Ministry of Sport’ team. It raised more than £800.

Places represented from around the County in Blackburn Cathedral included Blackpool, Leyland, Accrington, Salesbury, Pendle, Whalley, and Clayton-le-Moors.

Rt Rev Dr Jill Duff, Bishop of Lancaster launched the event while seven instructors were on hand to lead the participants and get the ranks of lycra-clad participants moving in unison.

Speaking on the evening, Bishop Jill told the crowd: “What makes this evening so special? We are doing something close to God’s heart – it’s about children and we are raising money for Children in Need.

"Jesus was once asked who is the most important in the Kingdom of Heaven. He put a little child in the middle and said: ‘You are the most important’.”

Spokesman for Ministry of Sport, Keith McIntosh from Leyland, said: “This was the first event of its kind in the Diocese. The Bishop of Burnley Rt Rev Philip North got wind of the Chester event and said to us: ‘let’s make this happen in Blackburn’.

“And we were delighted Bishop Jill was able to open the Zumbathon.”

Rev Lesley Hinchcliffe, one of the organising team, lives in Accrington and serves at St Peter’s Church, Salesbury.

Lesley added: “Zumba uses music and dance from all cultures and we welcome all to this event. What a wonderful opportunity it was to witness to the love of Christ in the heart of our Community.”