The Collation, Induction and Installation of the next Dean of Blackburn takes place this Saturday at Blackburn Cathedral.
Canon Peter Howell-Jones, 55, comes to Blackburn Diocese (The Church of England in Lancashire) from his previous role as Vice-Dean of Chester Cathedral.
The service begins at 10.30am and the congregation will include the Bishop of Blackburn, Rt Rev. Julian Henderson; the Bishop of Lancaster, Rt Rev. Geoff Pearson; the Archdeacon of Lancaster, The Venerable Michael Everitt; the Archdeacon of Blackburn, The Venerable Mark Ireland and the Canon Sacrist of Blackburn Cathedral, Canon Andrew Hindley. They will be joined by the Dean of Chester, The Very Rev. Professor Gordon McPhate.
As well as taking overall charge of Blackburn Cathedral as Dean of Blackburn, Canon Peter will be a key member of the Diocesan Bishop’s Leadership Team. He is married to Siân and they have four grown-up children.
The next Dean was chosen via an appointment panel chaired by The Rt Hon Jack Straw, former MP for Blackburn and former Foreign Secretary. His appointment was officially announced at a special event in the Cathedral in November 2016.
Canon Peter said today: “It is an honour and a privilege to be entrusted with responsibility for the wonderful Cathedral in Blackburn. I am looking forward to exploring how Blackburn Cathedral can continue to develop and live out its aim to be ‘Good News for Lancashire’.
“The Cathedral already has a fantastic national and international reputation for the quality of its music and for its inter-faith work. More recently, it has instigated innovative new ways of engaging with and being part of the community as an ‘event space’ including the massive 2016 Flower Festival and the annual Hive Business Awards.
“Of course, the beautiful new Cathedral Court extension opened in 2016 also creates a whole host of further opportunities for fresh community engagement.”
Canon Peter continued: “I now find myself part of a Diocese which is so clearly focussed on growth and mission through Vision 2026: Healthy Churches Transforming Communities and I look forward to being able to lead the Cathedral in actively contributing to this work in the years to come.”
The service on Saturday will be attended by clergy and parishioners from across Lancashire, alongside civic representatives including Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire, The Rt Hon. Lord Shuttleworth and Lady Shuttleworth.
Also at the Cathedral will be Councillor Faryad Hussain and Miss Sariah Hussain representing Blackburn with Darwen Council and the Mayors and Mayoresses of Burnley, Chorley, Preston, Hyndburn, Ribble Valley, West Lancashire, Wyre and Rossendale Councils.
Additional visiting dignitaries include the Dean Emeritus of Braunschweig Cathedral, The Very Rev. Joachim Hempel and the Dean of Bloemfontein Cathedral, Fr Mosokotso Lazarus Mohapi. Both cathedrals are in Lancashire’s ‘link Dioceses’ of Braunschweig, Germany and Free State, South Africa.
Anticipating the service this weekend, Bishop Julian said: “Peter brings a great deal of experience to the role of Dean and I am looking forward to welcoming him and his wife Siân to our Diocese as they prepare for the service on Saturday.
“Peter will also be a key member of the Bishop’s Leadership Team as we prayerfully move forward together as a Diocese with our Vision 2026: Healthy Churches Transforming Communities.
“I am excited to see how the Cathedral will contribute to our Vision work under Peter’s guidance and leadership.”
Pictured: The next Dean of Blackburn, Canon Peter Howell-Jones with his wife Sian