The Bishop of Blackburn has promised to place a 'spotlight on social justice' at his installation service at Blackburn Cathedral.

Rt Rev. Philip North, the tenth Bishop of Blackburn will also state his commitment to leading 'the continued growth of the church in Lancashire and building joyful Christian communities'. 

Around 1,000 people will attend the Cathedral for the service today (June 24) which begins from 2pm.  All seats are now taken, but anyone who can’t be there in person can watch a high-quality livestream on YouTube.

What is thought to be a first for any Bishop’s installation, children attending the service on will be invited to attend a ‘Messy Installation’ downstairs in the Cathedral crypt area. 

Organised by the Diocesan Board of Education, this will be a fun variation of the well-known ‘Messy Church’ that has grown in popularity in recent years and allows children to learn about the Bible and Jesus through play and craft.

A video was also released in which Bishop Philip looks forward to the event in the company of Bishop Jill.  

Bishop Philip said: “We are looking forward to a joyful, upbeat service with children and young people at the heart of things and in which we celebrate the presence of Jesus in our lives and God at work in this diocese.  

“Every corner of Lancashire deserves to be served by joyful communities of proclaiming, serving Christians. We will also be thinking about justice and what it means for Christians to live out the justice of God’s future kingdom now.”

The service will be attended by civic and county leaders from across Lancashire, as well as many clergy and parishioners from our parishes. 

Those attending include the Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire, Rt Hon. The Lord Shuttleworth KG KCVO and Lady Shuttleworth and Speaker of the House of Commons and MP for Chorley, the Rt Hon. Sir Lindsay Hoyle.  

Other guests include the High Sheriff of Lancashire, Mr David Taylor CBE; The Venerable Joshua Skee and Rev. Martin Stützer (representing our Diocesan links from South Africa and Germany) alongside Mayors and Mayoresses, council leaders, faith and community leaders. 

After the service is complete, the entire congregation will be invited to a community picnic taking place in the Cathedral grounds. 

Meanwhile, Bishop Philip has chosen two charities he hopes people will be able to give generously to as part of the celebration service on Saturday; they are SportsReach and Ambassadors Football UK.  

Both charities seek to equip churches in sports ministry as well as engage directly in using sport as a tool to reach people for Christ. They work predominantly with children and young people but do have something for all ages and work in Lancashire as well as across the globe.