The Rt Rev Julian Henderson inauguration, Blackburn Cathedral

Bishop Julian and his wife Heather enter the cathedral

Bishop Julian and his wife Heather enter the cathedral - Credit: Archant

More than 1,000 people attended a moving ceremony at Blackburn Cathedral to welcome the inaugration of Lancashire’s new Bishop, the Rt Rev Julian Henderson.

Bishop Julian broke with tradition by entered the cathedral with his wife, Heather, having first knocked three times on the west doors with an ancient Saxon hammer found in the River Ribble - a unique element of the service, as normally the bishop’s staff is used. The Bishop was greeted by Max Kilshaw, 12, from Beardwood, and Ruth Edwards, 13, from Wilpshire – both pupils of St Wilfred’s High School in Blackburn.



On the run-up to the big day he toured the whole of Lancashire on a prayer vigil for the county, making 54 separate stops to pray at locations as diverse as the cockle pickers’ memorial in Morecambe and the top of Blackpool Tower.



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Bishop Julian, previously Archdeacon of Dorking in Surrey, said: ‘I wanted to process from the Town Hall and enter the cathedral dressed simply in a cassock, and I am thankful that, breaking tradition, I could do so with my wife, Heather, without whom I would not be where I am today. To become the ninth Bishop of Blackburn is extremely humbling. It is an honour to be entrusted with such an important and significant responsibility.’



Afterward he went to Blackburn Rovers to watch their clash with Charlton and at half time he told the crowd: ‘Thank you for your wonderful Lancashire welcome. My wife Heather and I wish you all the best for the rest of the season.’