The Venerable David Picken is our new Archdeacon of Lancaster, following his ‘Installation and Collation Service’ at Blackburn Cathedral last night.
The Bishop of Blackburn, Rt Rev. Julian Henderson, conducted the Collation ceremony while the Dean of Blackburn, The Very Rev. Peter Howell-Jones, ‘installed’ the new Archdeacon (making him an Archidiaconal Canon of the Cathedral) during a service which featured the Cathedral Girls’ Choir and the Choir of Ripley St Thomas Church of England Academy directed by John Robinson, Cathedral Organist and Director of Music and Don Gillthorpe.
Following the service Archdeacon David said: “It’s wonderful to begin my public ministry in the Diocese here in the cathedral. I am grateful to all who made today happen, particularly the cathedral community and the young people from Ripley St Thomas.
"Now I’m keen to get started across the Diocese, getting to know everyone in our parishes the length and breadth of the County and enabling healthy churches transforming communities.”
Bishop Julian said: “The service was a wonderful occasion for the Diocese and for David, who brings a wealth of experience to his new role. It’s great we now have a full team and it has been wonderful to see the warm welcome David and Cathy have had this evening.”
Civic and religious dignitaries at the service included the Bishop of Burnley, Rt Rev. Philip North; the Bishop of Lancaster, Rt Rev. Dr Jill Duff; Archdeacon of Blackburn, The Venerable Mark Ireland; the Bishop of Sherwood, Rt Rev. Tony Porter; the Mayor and Mayoresses (or Mayor’s Consorts) from Lancaster, Fylde, Wyre and Blackburn with Darwen Councils; the Deputy Mayor and Chief Executive from Preston City Council and the Chairman and Chairman’s Lady from Lancashire County Council.
The congregation of the Cathedral also included many clergy and parishioners from across the County, including the Area Deans; as well as visitors and supporters (including Bishop Tony) from Southwell and Nottingham Diocese, where David was Archdeacon of Newark immediately before taking up his new role in this Diocese.
During The Address to the congregation, Archdeacon David thanked everyone for the warm welcome he and his wife Cathy had received both at the Installation and Collation Service and on the run up to their arrival in the Diocese, since his appointment to the role was first announced in October.
And he anticipated all that was to come working in the Diocese and contributing towards the Diocesan Vision 2026, pointing people to Jesus as the centre of all that work saying: “Jesus brings life in all its fullness so lives are transformed; He is our inspiration and our everything.
“Whatever I do it’s because of Jesus. So, let’s be committed to growing together in our faith and to the common good of all our communities.”
The new Archdeacon of Lancaster will have responsibility working with and for young people in the Diocese; particularly as the new Chair of the Diocesan Board of Education. He succeeds The Venerable Michael Everitt who became Canon Pastor of Durham Cathedral last summer.
Bishop Jill was delighted saying: “It’s brilliant to welcome David and Cathy to the Diocese. They have strong relational gifts and I am looking forward to working with David as part of the Bishop’s Leadership Team."
Bishop Philip said: “It’s been a really wonderful occasion this evening. David is certain to make a significant contribution to the life of the Diocese in Lancashire.
"I am looking forward to benefiting from his skills as we continue to move forward with our Vision 2026 Healthy Churches Transforming Communities."
Meanwhile David’s fellow Archdeacon, The Venerable Mark Ireland, Archdeacon of Blackburn added: “David brings huge experience as an Archdeacon to the Diocese and this, combined with his Catholic spirituality and openness to the holy spirit will ensure he will make a special contribution. I look forward to working with him.”
And The Dean added: “It is a joy a real joy and blessing to welcome David to the College of Canons. He speaks in such an engaging manner and has energy and passion for the Gospel.”
In addition to the Cathedral service, Lancaster Priory also hosted the Archdeaconry Service of Welcome for Archdeacon David on February 9, which was David's first Sunday as Archdeacon of Lancaster.
Ronnie Semley, February 2019