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The Bishop of Blackburn, Rt Rev Julian Henderson, and his wife Heather joined television stars at the weekend to support a local adoption charity.

Adoption Matters, which has one of its offices at Blackburn Cathedral, is one of the largest voluntary adoption agencies in the UK. It held a virtual Teddy Bears’ Picnic and story time on Saturday, July 4.

Bishop Julian is one of the Adoption Matters Presidents; a duty he shares with the Bishops of Chester and Durham. He and Heather read a story via a special video which was shared on the organisations’ YouTube channel and can be viewed by clicking below ... 

They joined with other contributors including the presenting team from BBC North West Tonight (Roger Johnson, Annabel Tiffin and Owain Evans) and well-known actor and comedian John Thomson, star of the popular long-running drama, Cold Feet.

Adoption Matters, like everyone in the UK right now, is dealing with the impact of Covid-19.

With health and safety of their staff and families a paramount consideration, their planned Teddy Bears’ Picnic moved online for this year.

Everyone taking part was asked to grab a favourite Teddy Bear and pack a picnic for a Teddy Bears’ Picnic at home.

Bishop Julian said today: “Heather and I were delighted to be able to join this special online event and to read ‘The Rescue Party’ by Nick Butterworth.

“As a President of Adoption Matters I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all the other participants who gave up their time to record the YouTube videos to support the work of our wonderful organisation.”

Adoption Matters Fundraising and Relationship Manager, Sarah Johnson, added: “We were so delighted at the support from Bishop Julian and Heather in reading a story and enabling us to share it with our children and families taking part."

  • All the videos for the Teddy Bears' Picnic event are still available to watch online and would be a great way to entertain youngsters at any time during lockdown. Visit the Adoption Matters' YouTube channel to watch them. 
  • To find out more about adopting or fundraising with Adoption Matters, visit: or call them on 0300 123 1066.

About Adoption Matters

Adoption Matters is a children’s charity and one of the largest independent adoption agencies in the UK. They are the only adoption agency in the North of England to be rated Outstanding by Ofsted four times in a row. The charity has been finding permanent, loving families for children since 1947 and offers ongoing training and support.  The agency has its roots with the Blackburn Diocese Adoption Agency and also Chester Diocesan Adoption Services. Those two agencies merged in 2007 forming Adoption Matters. They cover the whole of the North of England, North Wales, Stoke, Staffordshire and Shropshire.