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Members of the Mothers’ Union for Blackburn Diocese gathered from all across Lancashire for a special commissioning service.  

Blackburn Cathedral played host to the event, held during regular Evensong and led by the Bishop of Blackburn, Rt Rev Julian Henderson. 

Commissioning of Mothers’ Union officers takes place every three years.  

On the day, Bishop Julian commissioned the new Diocesan President, Gill Ireland, Deputy President, Jenny Towers (Blackburn Archdeaconry) and Deputy President, Kath Lane (Lancaster Archdeaconry). Jenny is from Longton St Andrew’s while Kath is from Bolton-le-Sands Holy Trinity.

Also commissioned were Rev Susan Seed, Vicar of Slyne with Hest as Mothers’ Union Chaplain; Jane Cairns from Kirkham St Michael’s, as Action and Outreach Coordinator and Kath Bill from Torrisholme The Ascension as Faith and Policy Coordinator.  

Mothers’ Union members from parishes across the County were welcomed by the Dean of Blackburn, Very Rev Peter Howell-Jones. The Bishop of Burnley, Rt Rev Philip North and the Archdeacon of Blackburn, The Venerable Mark Ireland, also attended the service.  

The Mothers’ Union in Blackburn Diocese is very active supporting many areas of work including children’s groups, local hospitals and prisons.  

It has 100 branches comprising of 2,500 members across Lancashire; all meeting regularly, organising their own programmes and keeping prayer at the centre of everything they do. 

Other activities include providing a caravan on the coast for holidays to families in need of a break; Knitting projects - tiny clothes, blankets and shawls for the neonatal unit at local hospitals, fiddle pinnies and muffs for dementia patients; support for local and national Mothers’ Union projects in this country and overseas and much more. 

Speaking after the service the new President, Gill Ireland, commented: “I am so pleased to have been chosen to be Diocesan President. I have a great team of trustees to support me and I am looking forward to encouraging all our branch leaders across the County.  

“I hope to inspire members to become more prayerful and to generously support our projects which help families whose lives have met with adversity.” 


Picture captions for the above photos: 

Pic 1 - Banners from Mothers’ Union branches around the County are paraded during the commissioning service at Blackburn Cathedral 

Pic 2 - New Mothers’ Union President Gill Ireland is pictured with the Bishop of Blackburn, Rt Rev Julian Henderson after the commissioning service at Blackburn Cathedral 

Pic 3 - New Mothers’ Union President Gill Ireland pictured (centre) with newly commissioned office holders and Mothers’ Union members in front of Mothers’ Union banners from around the Diocese, after the service at Blackburn Cathedral 

Pic 4 - New Mothers’ Union President Gill Ireland is pictured with Rev Susan Seed, Vicar of Slyne with Hest after the commissioning service at Blackburn Cathedral