THE inauguration of Lancashire’s new bishop, Julian Henderson, takes place at Blackburn Cathedral on Saturday.

Julian Henderson was previously Archdeacon of Dorking, in Surrey, before his appointment as Bishop of Blackburn, the most senior cleric in The Church of England in Lancashire.

His inauguration service will be reflective of Bishop Julian himself as he has chosen all the hymns and songs as well as the Bible readings. During the service Bishop Julian will also deliver his first sermon as Bishop of Blackburn.

At the rehearsal for the service on Tuesday evening, Bishop Julian said: “I am aiming for a measure of informality around the inevitable formalities connected with such an occasion.”

Local schoolchildren will be involved in the service and official greetings will come from civic and religious leaders from across the region, many of whom will be involved in processions prior to the service.

In the afternoon the Bishop and his family, including wife Heather, son Jamie and daughter Susannah, have been invited to attend the Blackburn Rovers clash with Charlton, which kicks off at 3pm. The Bishop will say a few words of greeting to the crowd at half time.

Clergy and parishioners from across Lancashire will attend the inauguration service in the company of other senior clerics from across the UK and visiting international dignitaries.

Senior clergy from the Diocese attending on Saturday are the Bishop of Burnley, the Rt Rev. John Goddard; Bishop of Lancaster, the Rt Rev. Geoff Pearson; Archdeacon of Blackburn, The Venerable John Hawley; Archdeacon of Lancaster, the Venerable Michael Everitt and the Dean of Blackburn, The Very Rev. Christopher Armstrong, who will conduct the special service.

They will be joined by Bishop Dintoe Stephen Letloenyane who is making the trip from the South African link Diocese, Free State, and Fredrick Weber, Bishop of Braunschweig in Germany, alsoalso linked with Blackburn Diocese.

The Archbishop of York, The Most Rev. and Rt Hon. Dr John Sentamu, who conducted Bishop Julian’s consecration service last week, passed on his good wishes to Julian Henderson today saying: “It is great to welcome Bishop Julian as Lancashire’s next Bishop. He will be a great blessing to the Diocese of Blackburn – join me in praying for his ministry there.” Speaking about the inauguration, Bishop Julian Henderson said 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.

"My wife Heather and I have 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. We do so joyfully with a real sense of expectation and excitement.”