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Former Pupil Consecrated as the New Bishop of Lancaster

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The Rt Rev. Dr Jill Duff, a former Bolton School pupil, has become the new Bishop of Lancaster. She was Consecrated at York Minster on June 29, before her Installation Service - the formal welcome to her new Diocese - took place at Blackburn Cathedral on July 3. Until recently, she was the founding Director of St Mellitus College, North West. 

The eighth Anglican Bishop of Lancaster was consecrated at York Minster. A service steeped in history, it was led by The Archbishop of York, The Most Rev. and Rt Hon. Dr John Sentamu who was assisted by more than 40 Bishops from across The Church of England. Also in attendance was the Archbishop of Wales, The Most Rev. John Davies, as well as contingents of people representing various stages of Jill’s life and career so far. 

The Bishop-designate grew up in Bolton and was a pupil (Jillian Worsley) in the Girls’ Division of Bolton School from 1980 to 1990 before studying at Christ College, Cambridge and Worcester College, Oxford. Several years in the oil industry followed before Jill trained for the ministry at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford. She is married to Rev. Prof. Jeremy Duff, who is Principal of the St Padarn’s Institute in the Church in Wales and they have two sons - Robbie, aged 13 and Harry, who is aged 10. 

There were a number of very personal touches in the service, including a reading from the Prophecy of Ezekiel by Jill’s sons. Meanwhile the sermon – centred on calling people out to serve God - was delivered by her friend Rev. Canon Kate Wharton, who is Vicar of St Bartholomew, Roby, in Liverpool Diocese and Assistant National Leader for New Wine. Kate is also Godmother to Jill’s eldest son. 

Rev. Kate Wharton said: “My sermon focussed on calling people out to serve God. That is very important to Jill and I wanted to preach a sermon that would be specifically for her but would also speak to the whole congregation at the same time.” 

Speaking after the service Rt Rev. Dr Jill Duff, the new Bishop of Lancaster, said: “I have been surfing on the prayers of so many people to get to this special moment. 

“Today was a wonderful spirit-filled occasion and it was a huge honour to be part of a consecration service which centred around calling down the Holy Spirit for the office and work of a bishop in the Church of God.  

“I would like to thank my family and friends for their support and everyone who has prayed me into this new role of Bishop of Lancaster.” 

Bishop Julian, the Diocesan Bishop for The Church of England in Lancashire, welcomed his new colleague saying: “It has been a wonderful service today that embodied everything being ordained for ministry in the Church of England is all about. 

“We thank Jill for answering God’s call to be Bishop of Lancaster. She is an exciting person coming to an exciting team at an exciting time and we look forward to all that God has in store.” 

The Consecration was followed on July 3 by Jill’s official welcome into the Diocese, with an Installation Service at Blackburn Cathedral, led by the Bishop of Blackburn, Rt Rev. Julian Henderson who was assisted by the Bishop of Burnley, Rt Rev. Philip North. 

Speaking after the service Bishop Jill said: “The evening has been wonderfully uplifting – a wonderful Lancashire welcome - and I am now looking forward to everything God has in store for me and for the Diocese.”

You can watch some of the highlight of the Consecration and Installation as well as interviews with Bishop Jill below:

Consecration highlights: http://bit.ly/2NH10ap

Installation highlights: http://bit.ly/2NHi1kQ

Installation full sermon: http://bit.ly/2NJwZXE

That's Lancashire TV interview: http://bit.ly/2NH07yB

That's Yorkshire TV report: http://bit.ly/2NI86vh


And here are two extended interviews with Bishop Jill aired on BBC Radio Lancashire:

BBC Lancashire Joe Wilson:

Report 1: https://bbc.in/2NJDae8

Report 2: https://bbc.in/2NJDw4s 


With thanks to Blackburn Diocese for the words, to Clive Lawrence for the Consecration photographs and Sara Cuff for the Installation photographs.


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