The new Bishop of Blackburn has been announced as The Venerable Julian Henderson, currently Archdeacon of Dorking.
The announcemment coincided with his first public appearance in the Blackburn Diocese today (March 1st) at the Blackburn Foodbank. He then made his first visit to nearby Blackburn Cathedral where he met with the Dean and staff from the Diocese offices. Later he made a private visit to Whalley Abbey to meet with senior Diocese clergy and staff.
Commenting on his appointment, Mr Henderson commented: “To find that I am the person invited to become the next Bishop of Blackburn is extremely humbling. It is an honour to be entrusted with such an important and significant responsibility.”
Age 58, The Venerable Julian Hendrson has been Archdeacon of Dorking since 2005. He was educated at Keble College, Oxford, and ordained as a Deacon in 1979 and a priest in 1980. He is married to Heather and has two grown-up children, Susannah (27) and Jamie (25). In his leisure time he enjoys gardening, design and DIY, walking, reading, tennis and cycling.
“Heather and I come to the diocese in response to a call from God through His church to serve both His people and the whole wider community in Lancashire,” said Mr Henderson, “and we do so joyfully with a real sense of expectation and excitement.
“I am very aware of the very significant challenges facing many in Lancashire at a time of austerity and cutbacks and a shortage of jobs. It is no coincidence that this announcement is taking place at a foodbank, one of many round the country, each one a sign of the struggle it is for some to get through the next week. I would hope to be a champion and spokesman for those whose voice is often not heard.
He added: “We look forward to moving to Lancashire and becoming part of your life here. When that will be has yet to be decided, but I hope we shall be able to give you dates in the not too distant future. In the meantime, we value your prayers not just for us, but also Bishop John and the team as they continue to carry the responsibility of the vacancy.”
Rt Rev. John Goddard, Bishop of Burnley and Acting Bishop of Blackburn, added: “I am delighted to welcome The Venerable Julian Henderson as our next Bishop. He has the full support of the senior clergy in the Diocese, including myself, as he seeks to bring God’s Word to Lancashire in the years ahead. We are all looking forward immensely to this new era for Blackburn Diocese.”