Incoming Bishop of Blackburn announced as Julian Henderson

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Media captionThe Venerable Julian Henderson will take up the post in the autumn

The incoming Bishop of Blackburn has been announced by Downing Street as the Venerable Julian Henderson.

The 58-year-old successor to the Right Reverend Nicholas Reade, who retired as Bishop in October, was selected by the Crown Nominations Commission.

Archdeacon Henderson is currently based at the Diocese of Guildford. He will be consecrated in the autumn.

He said he planned on ordaining women as priests within the diocese and was in favour of women serving as Bishops.

Archdeacon Henderson was introduced during an event at Blackburn Food Bank, Brunswick Street before visiting Blackburn Cathedral.

He said: "To find that I am the person invited to become the next Bishop of Blackburn is extremely humbling.

"It is an honour to be entrusted with such an important and significant responsibility."

Women bishops

In January, 50 priests wrote in a letter to the Archbishop of York to say the next Bishop must be prepared to ordain women priests.

Archdeacon Henderson voted against the draft measure for the consecration of women Bishops in November because, he says, sufficient measures were not in place to prevent "marginalising" those who were against the move.

"I am aware of different, deeply held convictions around the diocese on the ordination of women to the priesthood and to the episcopate," he said.

"I am in favour of women serving as Bishops and will want to introduce a change in the current diocesan pattern by ordaining women as deacons and priests.

"But I hope my vote at General Synod last November will be a reassurance to those opposed to this development, that I want to be a figure of unity on this matter and will ensure there is an honoured place for both positions within the mainstream of the Church of England."

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