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Clergy from parishes across Lancashire travelled to the region’s Anglican Cathedral in Blackburn earlier today for the annual ‘Chrism Eucharist’.

The special service, which takes place every Maundy Thursday, is where in the presence of members of the congregations they serve, clergy are invited to reaffirm their ordination promise. It’s a highlight of the clergy year and an important moment for all who participate.

The service was led by the Bishop of Blackburn, Rt Rev. Philip North, and was also attended by the Anglican Bishop of Lancaster, Rt Rev. Dr Jill Duff; the Archdeacon of Blackburn, the Venerable Mark Ireland; the Archdeacon of Lancaster, the Venerable David Picken and also the Dean of Blackburn, the Very Revd Peter Howell-Jones, who welcomed everyone to the Cathedral.

During the service, as well as inviting the clergy to renew their Ordination promises, Bishop Philip blessed the three oils that are used by many clergy in their ministry.

The oil of healing brings comfort to the sick. The oil of Baptism is used to make the sign of the cross on the heads of those to be baptised. The oil of Chrism, mixed with balsam, is a sign of being set apart for service.

Chrism oil was also used to anoint His Majesty the King at his Coronation in May 2023.

The Chrism Eucharist is part of the way clergy prepare themselves to lead their congregations through the great events of Holy Week: Good Friday, when we mark the crucifixion and death of Jesus and Easter Day, when we celebrate Jesus’ resurrection.

Bishop Philip said today: “At the Chrism Eucharist I invited our priests and deacons from across Lancashire to renew their ordination vows and so rededicate themselves afresh to the beautiful ministry to which Jesus has called them.

“Then through distributing oils of healing, of baptism and of Chrism, I commissioned them afresh for their ministry. This is precious time both to be renewed in that ministry and to support each other.”

Captions, top to bottom

  • Very top of page ... Many Clergy from across the County processed into Blackburn Cathedral for the Chrism Service
  • The Cathedral scene with clergy gathered from across Lancashire during the Chrism Eucharist
  • Chrism oils ready for taking back to parishes after the Chrism Eucharist
  • Bishop Philip delivers his sermon at the Chrism Service this morning
  • Clergy listen as Bishop Philip delivers his sermon 




Ronnie Semley, March 2024