THE next Bishop of Blackburn is to be the Ven. Julian Henderson
(right), who is currently the Archdeacon of Dorking, it
was announced on Friday.
Unlike his two predecessors - the Rt Revd Nicholas Reade, who
retired on 31 October; and the Rt Revd Alan Chesters - Archdeacon
Henderson is willing to ordain women as priests. He said on Friday
that he was "in favour of women serving as bishops", although he
voted against the draft women bishops Measure in November (
News, 23 November).
Archdeacon Henderson said in a statement issued by Church House:
"Let me be clear, I am in favour of women serving as bishops and
will want to introduce a change in the current diocesan pattern by
ordaining women as deacons and priests.
"But I hope my vote at General Synod last November will be a
reassurance to those opposed to this development, that I want to be
a figure of unity on this matter and will ensure there is an
honoured place for both positions within the mainstream of the
Church of England. Might Blackburn be a model for the rest of the
Church of England!"
In January, more than 50 clergy from Blackburn diocese signed a
letter urging the Archbishop of York, Dr Sentamu, to ensure that
their next diocesan bishop would ordain women as priests (
News, 25 January).
Archdeacon Henderson, who is 58, chairs the Business Committee
of the General Synod. He has been Archdeacon of Dorking since
A message from Archdeacon Henderson will be read out in churches
in Blackburn diocese, on Sunday. The message can be read here.
The CNC is scheduled to meet on 11 March and 25/26 April to
nominate candidates for the see of Manchester, left vacant after
the retirement of the Rt Revd Nigel McCulloch; on 8 May and 6/7
June to nominate candidates for the see of Durham, left vacant
after the appointment of the Rt Revd Justin Welby as Archbishop of
Canterbury; and on 18 July and 5/6 September to nominate candidates
for the see of Bath & Wells, which will be left vacant when the
Rt Revd Peter Price retires in June.