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The new Area Dean for Lancaster and Morecambe Deanery was commissioned at the weekend by the Bishop of Burnley, Rt Rev Philip North.

Rev Craig Abbott, of St John’s Ellel, is now the Area Dean – a role that gives him additional responsibilities alongside those in his parish; involving the care of people and church buildings for the whole Deanery.

The Commissioning Service, which took place at St John’s at 4pm on Sunday, was also attended by the Archdeacon of Lancaster The Venerable David Picken.

In a comment reflecting our Diocesan ‘Vision 2026 Healthy Churches Transforming Communities’, Rev Craig Abbott said: “It was a privilege to be commissioned by Bishop Philip for the role. I look forward to working with the Bishops and the Archdeacon to support the clergy and lay people in this amazing Deanery.

“I will endeavour to support clergy and churches to the best of my ability and do it all with a servant heart and sense of humour.

“We are blessed with a group of talented clergy and lay leaders in the deanery who work hard to make healthy churches where people belong; find a home; experience the transforming power of Jesus and who seek to transform their communities with His love.”

Captions from top to bottom of pictures by Geraint Harries for Blackburn Diocese 

  • (l-r) Archdeacon David; new Area Dean, Rev Craig Abbott and Bishop Philip after the Commissioning Service
  • Bishop Philip commissioned Rev Craig Abbott during the service