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Farewell service for Bishop of Blackburn
3:35pm Sunday 21st October 2012 in News
A SPECIAL service has been held to mark the retirement of the Bishop of Blackburn.
The Rt Revd Nicholas Reade officially retires from his post on October 31 after more than eight years of service to the Diocese of Blackburn.
Representatives from across Lancashire gathered in Blackburn Cathedral for the service of thanksgiving for Bishop Nicholas’ ministry on Saturday.
Clergy and representatives from all the parishes were joined by the Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire, the High Sheriff, representatives from Lancashire County Council, schools, colleges and local MPs.
Fellow Bishops also attended the service joining leaders of other Christian denominations and other faiths.
Lessons were read by the Bishop’s wife, Christine Reade, before he preached and celebrated the Holy Communion.
At the conclusion of the service the eighth Bishop of Blackburn took part in the symbolic laying down of his pastoral care.
This involved him kneeling in silence before laying down the pastoral staff he was entrusted with at his enthronement.
Speaking after the service, Bishop Nicholas said: “As I prepare to leave the Diocese of Blackburn I have a real mix of emotions, but overwhelmingly a sense of thankfulness to God for calling me to be the Bishop of this wonderful, friendly Diocese.”
Bishop Nicholas has led the diocese during a period of change as the number of paid clergy decreases. He has encouraged all parishes to be outward-looking and find new ways of sharing the faith with those not currently part of the church.
He has also become the lead bishop in the Church of England for issues concerning the deaf and disabled.
Bishop Nicholas and Christine will retire to Bexhill on Sea in Sussex.
The Bishop of Burnley, Rt Rev John Goddard will now take over his duties until a replacement is appointed.
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