Diocese of Blackburn

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Coordinates: 53°45′00″N 2°29′06″W / 53.750°N 2.485°W / 53.750; -2.485

Diocese of Blackburn
Dio Blackburn arms.png
Ecclesiastical province York
Archdeaconries Blackburn, Lancaster
Parishes 211
Churches 280
Cathedral Blackburn Cathedral
Current leadership
Bishop Julian Henderson, Bishop of Blackburn
Suffragans Geoff Pearson, Bishop of Lancaster
Philip North, Bishop of Burnley
Archdeacons John Hawley, Archdeacon of Blackburn
Michael Everitt, Archdeacon of Lancaster

The Diocese of Blackburn is a Church of England diocese, covering much of Lancashire, created on 12 November 1926[1] from part of the Diocese of Manchester. The Diocese includes the towns of Blackburn, Blackpool, Burnley, and the cities of Lancaster, and Preston, as well as a large part of the Ribble Valley. The cathedral is Blackburn Cathedral and the current Bishop of Blackburn is Julian Henderson.[2]

The Diocesan retreat and conference centre is located at Whalley Abbey in the Ribble Valley, alongside the ruins of the 14th century Cistercian monastery, dissolved in 1537. The Abbey was in private possession until 1923 and has been in the possession of the Diocese of Blackburn since 1926.


Alongside the diocesan Bishop of Blackburn, the Diocese has two suffragan bishops, Geoff Pearson, Bishop suffragan of Lancaster, appointed in 2007 and Philip North, Bishop suffragan of Burnley, appointed in 2015.

Since 1994, Michael Vickers, retired area Bishop of Colchester, has been licensed to serve as an honorary assistant bishop in the diocese. He lives in Scotforth, Lancaster.[3] Cyril Ashton, a retired former Bishop suffragan of Doncaster has been a licensed since his 2011 retirement to Lancaster.[4] Retired former Archbishop of York The Lord Hope of Thornes lives in Hellifield, N. Yorks (in the neighbouring Diocese of Leeds) and is licensed as an honorary assistant bishop in Blackburn diocese.[5]

Alternative episcopal oversight (for parishes in the diocese which reject the ministry of priests who are women) was provided by John Goddard, Bishop suffragan of Burnley, until his retirement on 19 July 2014. Following his retirement, no announcement regarding arrangements for AEO has yet been made.

Churches within the Diocese[edit]


  1. ^ The London Gazette: no. 33220. p. 7321. 12 November 1926. Retrieved 24 December 2012.
  2. ^ "Diocese of Blackburn" (Press release). Number10.gov.uk. 1 March 2013. Retrieved 1 March 2013. 
  3. ^ "Vickers ME". Crockford's Clerical Directory (online ed.). Church House Publishing. Retrieved 24 August 2013.  (subscription required)[dead link]
  4. ^ "Ashton CG". Crockford's Clerical Directory (online ed.). Church House Publishing. Retrieved 27 August 2013.  (subscription required)[dead link]
  5. ^ "Hope of Thornes DM". Crockford's Clerical Directory (online ed.). Church House Publishing. Retrieved 26 August 2013.  (subscription required)[dead link]

External links[edit]