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Introduction and greetings video

The Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell, will be visiting Blackburn Diocese from Friday 27 to Sunday 29 May. 

He has sent a greeting to all our parishes and to everyone in Lancashire in advance of his visit. You can watch the video here: 

Highlights of the visit will include ... 

For your prayers, during his visit Archbishop Stephen will also be in Lancaster University on the Friday morning and then meeting with civic and religious leaders in Burnley in the afternoon.

On the Saturday he will be very busy as he will lead a prayer breakfast, attend a science day, help at a mission on Cleveleys prom and pray with people on the streets in Blackpool town centre.

On the Sunday morning he will preach and preside at Blackburn Cathedral during a special service of thanksgiving as a number of our churches turn 900 years old this year. More on this event below. 

Archbishop Stephen is hoping to visit each diocese in the Northern Province for three days. Bishop Julian commented recently: "I am delighted that we will be the first to welcome him as he starts his visits. During his time with us he will be visiting as much of our diocese as is possible: North, South, East and West and he will be involved in a wide variety of activities.

"Please keep praying for this weekend, particularly that God will use it to open doors and that people will hear His call in their lives through the Gospel message that Archbishop Stephen will bring to the diocese." 

  • More information below ... 

Letter to the Diocese from Bishop Julian

Bishop Julian has written to all parishes inviting them to get involved and to support the visit in whatever they can.

This includes booking places for the evangelistic event in Blackpool on May 28 and making sure you bring a friend to hear the Good News about Jesus Christ.

Read/download the letter from Bishop Julian here ... 

Social media and online updates 

We will share information and updates around the visit on our Diocesan social media on Twitter and Facebook; on our Diocesan website and updates will also appear on the Archbishop's website and social accounts as well.

Let us know what you are doing locally in your parishes to get involved using the handle @cofelancs and also tagging us on Facebook/BlackburnDiocese

There will be short videos and other updates to share from our Diocesan accounts on the run-up to the visit and during the three days. 

  • More information soon - keep checking back. 

Celebrate! Evangelistic event in Blackpool

On Saturday May 28 at 7pm, Archbishop Stephen will be leading an evangelistic event at The Blackpool Pleasure Beach Globe Arena.

This will be an evening of worship and testimony with a keynote address from the archbishop about what it means to follow Jesus and how He brings life in all its fullness.

Bishop Julian added: "Please do come yourself but please make sure you also bring a few friends and begin to pray now about who you could bring and that this evening will see many people come to Jesus for the first time.

"It is good this event is taking place during the ten day period of Thy Kingdom Come, when we pray for five people to come to faith, and you may wish to use this as part of that process."

More information and free tickets can be found here. Seating and free parking will be allocated on a first come, first served basis so please do book quickly once you are sure you will attend. There will be parking available nearby if the immediate spaces next to the Arena are full. 

We have released posts on both Facebook and Twitter and the event will feature in our Parish Update ebulletin. Please share as much of this as you can from your church and personal social media accounts and make it a really fantastic day out at the seaside.

More on social media for the visit can be found below. 

Rejoice! Whalley Abbey open air service and blessing

On the Friday evening of the Archbishop's three day visit, May 27 at 7.30pm, there will be an open air service at Whalley Abbey, with the theme ‘Rejoice’.

This is an event for the whole family and you are invited to bring a picnic and rug/folding chairs. 

Archbishop Stephen will preach and preside at the service and there will be various visiting music groups and choirs to help lead our sung worship including the worship band from St Thomas’ Lancaster; the Blackburn Diocese Asian Christian Fellowship Choir; the Cathedral Youth Choir, and some surprise guests. 

The grounds will be open from 6pm. Lets raise a Hallelujah! Parking details can be found on 

One of the purposes of this occasion is for the Archbishop to ask for God’s blessing in the renewed vision of the Abbey as a Centre for Christian Discipleship and Prayer. Visit the Abbey website here. 

If you would like to come to this service you don't need a ticket but please just email to let the Abbey know how many people to expect.

Closer to the time further details about the service and about parking will be sent to those who book but do remember the train station is only a short walk away. The wet weather plan is to move the service into Whalley Parish church, which will dramatically reduce our capacity, but we pray for good weather.

Cathedral Service of Thanksgiving

Our Cathedral will welcome The Archbishop of York on Sunday 29th May.

++Stephen will preside at both the Parish Eucharist at 9am and the Cathedral Eucharist at 10:30am. 

At the same time the Cathedral will also be extending a warm welcome to three parishes from the Diocese who each celebrate significant anniversaries this year and will be joining us for our Cathedral Eucharist:

These parishes are ... 

  • St Mary Magdalene, Clitheroe; celebrating 900 years
  • St Bartholomew, Colne; celebrating 900 years
  • St Peter, Burnley; celebrating 900 years






Ronnie Semley, May 2022