THE Church of England in Lancashire has today launched its plans for a county-wide summer festival.

The county’s new bishop, Rt Reverend Julian Henderson, has appeared in a YouTube video usedto promote the event, in which he issues a personal invitation to every community to attend the weekend of fun.

“It is important that we have fun and fellowship together as a church but also take every opportunity to introduce others to Jesus,” said Bishop Henderson.

“This weekend will tick both those important boxes and I am looking forward to it immensely.

“The senior clergy team is already working hard with Diocesan officers in the boards of finance and education to make it the biggest and best event we’ve ever put on.”

He explained that thousands are expected to descend on the event from churches and schools right across Lancashire.

Clergy and headteachers are being encouraged to send their congregations and pupils to the festival, which will take place on the weekend of June 21 and 22 in Lytham St Annes. The free event is open to anyone.

Activities and entertainment will include workshops, a jazz band, garden games, clowns and worship and praise events.

There will also be a football cage, bouncy castle, rodeo sheep and a climbing wall. The first day will finish with a rousing ceilidh in the evening.

Archdeacon John Hawley, in charge of logistical coordination of the event, said he has been ‘encouraged at the level of commitment’ shown by the people across the Diocese.

“We are particularly keen to ensure the event is well attended by young people from across the county,” he said.

“I know our schools and churches will be pulling out all the stops to ensure as many teenagers and younger children as possible are there for the weekend.”

For more information email Bishop Julian added: “Keep the weekend free and I hope to see you there.”