The new Bishop of Burnley, the Rt Rev. Philip North, makes his first visit to Burnley Football Club this weekend.
And he will have divided loyalties as the football-loving Bishop will be watching a Premier League clash between his new home town club and the team he has been following since childhood – Arsenal.
I love football and was brought up watching Arsenal so the match at the weekend will be interesting for me to say the least, as I have also developed a soft spot for Burnley FC since my appointmentBishop of Burnley
Since starting his new role officially in February, Bishop Philip has been touring the area, getting to know the people and places he now represents.
The Bishop, who is 48, said today: “It has been a great privilege to move to Burnley and Lancashire from London, where I was rector of a large inner city parish of four churches in the Camden area.
“I am enjoying being part of East Lancashire. In 2013 Burnley was awarded the title City of Enterprise and I think that award, alongside the importance of being a Premier League town of course, can provide inspiration for us as a Diocese.
“We want just that spirit of success, enterprise and entrepreneurship as we seek live out our new Diocesan vision of Healthy Churches Transforming Communities.”
The Bishop continued: “I love football and was brought up watching Arsenal so the match at the weekend will be interesting for me to say the least, as I have also developed a soft spot for Burnley FC since my appointment.
“In fact I have been praying for Burnley FC; the club, its players and supporters, ever since I was announced as the new Bishop on November 2nd and the team won their very next game after a period when wins were hard to come by!
“So I was delighted to be invited to attend my first Burnley FC match this weekend along with the Mayor of Burnley, Coun. Andy Tatchell, and I wish the team every success for the tail-end of the season.
“It is sure to be exciting for the supporters and I will continue to pray for the club as they fight to stay in the Premier League.”