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Dean saying a fond farewell

ONE of the most influential figures in East Lancashire's Christian community has announced his retirement.

Dean of Blackburn, the Very Rev David Frayne, is to retire in September after nine year's service.

Appointed in 1992 from a large parish church in Bristol, Rev Frayne has seen some major changes both at Blackburn Cathedral and in the diocese.

In 1998, work on the cathedral's Lantern Tower was finished and in 2000 work on the East End roofs was completed.

Mr Frayne, 66, was also instrumental in establishing the girls' choir and the organ appeal, which he described modestly as going along 'most satisfactorily.'

Ordained in 1960, Mr Frayne served for 22 years as a minister in Southwark, London, before moving to St Mary Redcliffe, a large parish church in Bristol, before moving to Blackburn.

During his time here, Mr Frayne has been chairman of the Blackburn with Darwen Inter-Faith Committee and the diocesan board of education. He also founded the Blackburn Church Leaders' Group.

He will move to Dorset to be near his family when he retires.

Talking about his time here, the Rev Frayne said he will have fond memories. "This is the first time I have been in the North of England and I have really enjoyed my time here.

"My wife Liz and I have enjoyed being in The North and representing church life in a diocese with more traditions than are sometimes found elsewhere. We will be sorry to leave."

The couple will be living at Gillingham, Dorset after his retirement.

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