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Diocesan Bishop, Rt Rev Julian Henderson, the Bishop of Blackburn, has appointed his new Bishop's Chaplain.

The new Chaplain is Rev Sam Cheesman, 34, originally from Belfast in Northern Ireland, and most recently at Thornton Cleveleys where he was a Curate at All Saints in Anchorsholme.

For several years Sam was School Chaplain for Ripley St Thomas School in Lancaster (2011-2017) before he was ordained; first as a Deacon in 2017 and then as a Priest the following year. He is married to Mairi and they have a daughter Lydia, who is 7.

As Bishop's Chaplain, he will run all aspects of the Bishop's office, overseeing the work of Bishop’s Secretary and Assistant Secretary and ensuring the smooth day-to-day running of the Bishop’s busy diary.

A keen rugby fan, Sam will also help to tackle the continued implementation of the Diocesan Vision 2026: Healthy Churches Transforming Communities as a member of the Bishop’s Leadership Team.

Bishop Julian licensed Sam as his Chaplain during evening prayer at Bishop’s House last week, when Sam was joined by Mairi and Lydia. The Bible reading at the licensing was very appropriate, being from 1 Samuel, about the ‘boy Samuel’ hearing and responding to God’s call. 

Bishop’s House is located in Salesbury in the Ribble Valley and Sam and his family will live nearby Langho.

Sam begins his new role on August 12 and will complete his curacy at nearby Salesbury, St Peter under Rev Martin Duerden.

Speaking today Bishop Julian said: "I am delighted that Sam has accepted the invitation to be my Chaplain and to play his part in the way Bishop’s House serves the Diocese.

“He joins Jennie, Jill, Wendy and Keith at Bishop’s House and I remain so grateful for all they do to support the ministry of the Diocesan Bishop. I am confident Sam will fit in well and make a significant contribution in the months ahead.”

Sam added: “I am delighted to be taking on this new role at an exciting time for our Diocese, with our Vision 2026 and a clear and ongoing focus on the importance of discipleship in our parishes.

“Being part of the Bishop’s Leadership Team as we collectively work towards making disciples, growing leaders and being witnesses for Jesus Christ is also a great privilege. I look forward to beginning work as Bishop’s Chaplain in August.”


Ronnie Semley