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The Venerable David Picken will begin his tenure as Archdeacon of Lancaster next Tuesday at a special service in Blackburn Cathedral starting at 7.30pm, to which all are invited.

The Bishop of Blackburn, Rt Rev. Julian Henderson, will lead the ‘Installation and Collation Service’.

The Bishop will conduct the Collation ceremony while the Dean of Blackburn, The Very Rev. Peter Howell-Jones, will ‘install’ the new Archdeacon (making him an Archidiaconal Canon of the Cathedral at the same time). 

Other civic and religious dignitaries due to attend include the Bishop of Burnley, Rt Rev. Philip North; the Bishop of Lancaster, Rt Rev. Dr Jill Duff; The Venerable Mark Ireland, Archdeacon of Blackburn; Her Majesty’s Vice Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire, Colonel Alan Jolley and his wife Mary Jolley; the Mayor and Mayoress of Blackburn with Darwen, Councillor Jim Shorrock and Mrs Linda Mahon and the Vice Chair of Lancashire County Council, County Councillor Susie Charles.

The congregation of the Cathedral will also be swelled by clergy and parishioners from across the County, including many Area Deans; as well as visitors and supporters from Southwell and Nottingham Diocese, from where David recently moved. He had been Archdeacon of Newark since 2012.

Speaking today, Archdeacon David said: “I am excited to have reached this point, following the initial announcement of my appointment in October 2019. As I said in a recent video greeting, I am looking forward to getting to know everyone in our parishes the length and breadth of the County.

“There is much work to be done, but much already taking place, with our Diocesan ‘Vision 2026’ providing clear priorities for us: making disciples, being witnesses and growing leaders for Jesus Christ.”

Archdeacon David, who is married to Cathy, will have a particular responsibility working with and for young people in the Diocese.

He added: “As the new Chair of the Diocesan Board of Education I will work very closely with the schools of the diocese. This was a role I fulfilled latterly in my previous Diocese. Meanwhile, I will also share in the work to encourage missional growth in our churches; in particular with children and young people.”

Bishop Julian said: “Tuesday’s service will be a joyful occasion for the Diocese and I encourage all our parishes to send representatives. David brings a wealth of experience to his new role. We will all benefit from his skills at what is a real time of God’s favour for our Diocese in terms of the work that many people are doing.”

Fellow Archdeacon, The Venerable Mark Ireland, Archdeacon of Blackburn added: ““I'm delighted to welcome David and I am really looking forward to working with him.

“With the rest of David’s colleagues on the Bishop’s Leadership Team and people in our parishes across the Diocese, I will be praying for David and Cathy as they prepare for the service on Tuesday and all that God has in store for them in the coming months and years."

  • Parishes should also note that, in addition to the Cathedral service, Lancaster Priory is also hosting the Archdeaconry Service of Welcome for Archdeacon David on February 9, which is his first Sunday as Archdeacon of Lancaster. The service begins at 6.30pm and all are welcome! 


Ronnie Semley