The Collation, Induction and Installation * of the new Dean of Blackburn took place on Saturday at Blackburn Cathedral.
The Very Rev. Peter Howell-Jones, 55, comes to Blackburn Diocese (The Church of England in Lancashire) from his previous role as Vice-Dean of Chester Cathedral.
Those present at the service included the Bishop of Blackburn, Rt Rev. Julian Henderson; the Bishop of Lancaster, Rt Rev. Geoff Pearson; the Archdeacon of Lancaster, The Venerable Michael Everitt; the Archdeacon of Blackburn, The Venerable Mark Ireland and the Canon Sacrist of Blackburn Cathedral, Canon Andrew Hindley. They were joined by the Dean of Chester, The Very Rev. Professor Gordon McPhate.
The new Dean was chosen via an appointment panel chaired by The Rt Hon Jack Straw, former MP for Blackburn and former Foreign Secretary.
As well as taking overall charge of Blackburn Cathedral as Dean of Blackburn, the new Dean will be a key member of the Diocesan Bishop’s Leadership Team. Peter is married to Siân and they have four grown-up children.
Speaking after the service Dean Peter said: “I have been overwhelmed by the level of support and the turnout today. It was lovely to see so many people here from so many different parts of the diocese. The weather has been fantastic and I am pleased to be coming home, as a Lancashire lad born and bred.
- View a full album of pictures from the event on Flickr by clicking here and follow!
- View service highlights and subscribe to our Diocesan YouTube channel here.
- View a recording of the whole service taken from Facebook Live by clicking here.
- Listen to the new Dean speaking on BBC Radio Lancashire here (at 2h 09m 50s)
- View tweets from Saturday’s event on Twitter @cofelancs – click here and follow!
- Watch an introductory video filmed at the announcement of Dean Peter’s appointment here on the Diocesan YouTube channel.
“I will now be taking time to listen to people and hear more about the current issues in the town and around the diocese and I am looking forward to exploring how Blackburn Cathedral can continue to develop and live out its aim to be ‘Good News for Lancashire’.”
He continued: “The Diocese is so clearly focussed on growth and mission through Vision 2026: Healthy Churches Transforming Communities and I hope to lead the Cathedral in actively contributing to this work in the years to come.”
The Cathedral’s Canon Sacrist, Andrew Hindley added: “It has been a great day. The service successfully mixed tradition with modernity and we hope Peter feels affirmed in his ministry.”
And Bishop Julian commented: “I’m thrilled we have now got to this moment. Peter is just the right kind of person to help us with our leadership here in the diocese. I am looking forward to seeing how the Cathedral will contribute to our Vision work under Peter’s guidance and to working with him for many years to come.”
The service on Saturday was attended by clergy and parishioners from across Lancashire, alongside civic representatives, including Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire, The Rt Hon. Lord Shuttleworth and Lady Shuttleworth.
Also at the Cathedral was Councillor Faryad Hussain and Miss Sariah Hussain representing Blackburn with Darwen Council and the Mayors and Mayoresses of Burnley, Chorley, Preston, Hyndburn, Ribble Valley, West Lancashire, Wyre and Rossendale Councils.
Additional visiting dignitaries included the Dean Emeritus of Braunschweig Cathedral, The Very Rev. Joachim Hempel and the Dean of Bloemfontein Cathedral, Fr Mosokotso Lazarus Mohapi. Both cathedrals are in Lancashire’s ‘link Dioceses’ of Braunschweig, Germany and Free State, South Africa.
Key facts about the new Dean of Blackburn
- Peter Howell-Jones was appointed Vice Dean of Chester Cathedral in 2011.
- He was previously Director for Mission and Evangelism in the Diocese of Birmingham from 2005, and in that Diocese he was also Canon Missioner at Birmingham Cathedral; Assistant Dean; Chair of the House of Clergy and Coordinator for the Birmingham Missional Network.
- Peter trained as a classical singer and conductor and taught classroom music before working as an impresario for a leading music tour operator.
- Following ordination in 1993, he served in parishes in Walsall, Sutton Coldfield and Birmingham.
- At Chester Cathedral, Peter was responsible for day-to-day oversight and running of the Cathedral; estate management; hospitality and mission. He had primary responsibility for the oversight, development and effectiveness of a staff team of 40 employees and over 300 volunteers
Other background information
- Peter was elected as an Executive Member of the Association of English Cathedrals (AEC) in June 2014.
- The Association was formed in 1990 to represent the interests of English Anglican Cathedrals in negotiations with English Heritage about a Cathedrals Grant Scheme. Over the years, its role has expanded and now includes all aspects of better equipping cathedrals.
- The AEC’s Executive Committee has 12 members. Nine are elected by the member cathedrals, where no fewer than four must be deans and no fewer than four must be other Chapter members, whether lay or ordained.
- Peter has been actively engaged with the world church for more than 25 years and currently co-leads the work of Medic Malawi – a grass roots charity working with some of the poorest people in the world to help provide support in the areas of health care, education, sustainable community projects and care for Aids orphans
- Professional interests include organisational health and leadership development, which he firmly believes to be significant characteristics of effective mission engagement and growth for the Church today.
- Age: 55
- Family: Married to Siân with four grown up children
- Education:Hillfoot Hey Comprehensive School; Huddersfield School of Music (trained as a singer and classical conductor); St John’s College Nottingham (theological training).
- Interests: Peter enjoys walking, cycling and skiing.
- For Cathedral worship times click here
- For what’s on at the Cathedral click here
- For more about music at the Cathedral click here
- For information about visiting Blackburn Cathedral click here
- For information about the Cathedral as an event venue click here
- Blackburn Cathedral has an ongoing appeal. Find out more click this link.