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Dear Friends, The Bishop of Blackburn has kindly given me permission to take a sabbatical at the beginning of 2018. This is an opportunity to take a break from the busyness of parish life and do some further study. My focus is going to be on ‘Recent developments in Evangelical Liturgy and Hymnody.’ It’s great…

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Dear Friends, 500th Anniversary of the Protestant Reformation On 31st October 1517 a monk named Martin Luther nailed a document to the door of the Castle Church in the small German town of Wittenberg. On the face of it there was nothing groundbreaking in this; it was standard practice for academics and theologians to suggest…

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Dear Friends, Canon Jim Duxbury (1933 – 2017) Jim was my immediate predecessor as Vicar of Padiham and died on 11 July 2017 aged 84 years. Following retirement in 2001 he and Patricia made their home in Clitheroe. Jim’s funeral was held at the Parish Church of St Mary Magdalene on 20th July. The service…

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Dear Friends, First of all I need to report the result of the PCC’s consideration of a resolution regarding the ministry of female bishops and priests. The following was passed by the PCC on 15th June 2017: “The members of Padiham Parish PCC request that on grounds of either theological conviction, or for some, the…

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Dear Friends, I’ve been invited to speak at a week-long Bible convention in Kenya at the beginning of September.  The event is being held in Kwale Archdeaconry in the Anglican Diocese of Mombasa which is in the east of the country.  Primarily the convention is aimed at clergy, readers and other church leaders.  The event…

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Dear Friends,   At this year’s Annual Parochial Church Meeting in April I took the opportunity to explain the current situation in the Church of England regarding women Bishops and Priests.  If you weren’t able to be present at the meeting I’d like to offer a summary of what I said.  Also can I encourage…

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Dear Friends, The turmoil caused by Bishop Philip North’s experience with Sheffield Diocese will not go away easily. In a statement explaining his withdrawal from his appointment as the next Bishop of Sheffield Philip said this: “The news of my nomination has elicited a strong reaction within the diocese and some areas of the wider…

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Dear Friends, You probably heard in the news that the Church of England General Synod refused to ‘take note’ of a report prepared by the House of Bishops on Marriage and Same Sex Relationships.  The report wasn’t perfect and showed some worrying traits but on the whole had much to commend it: it upheld the…

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Dear Friends, Hallelujah! If you watched or heard the news on 7th November you can’t have missed the reports of the death of Leonard Cohen, the Canadian singer-songwriter. Inevitably his most famous song, “Hallelujah!” was aired several times and I found myself wondering what the song is about. “Hallelujah” is, of course, a Hebrew word…

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Dear Friends, Archdeacon Mark Ireland led the first of our prayer workshops in October*.  He spoke from his own experience and offered lots of helpful, practical wisdom on how to keep a “Quiet time” going.  He mentioned that at times he has regularly made use of the General Thanksgiving – in fact it’s a prayer…

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