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North of England

Bishop Philips Withdrawal Greeted With Sadness

todayMarch 9, 2017 17

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Responding to the news Rt Rev. Julian Henderson, Bishop of Blackburn, said: “Bishop Philip has been, and now will continue to be, an outstanding and much respected Bishop of Burnley; a fine episcopal colleague. As I have said before he has been a gift to the Diocese of Blackburn for the past two and a bit years since his consecration and we could see him as an excellent next Bishop of Sheffield. So my immediate response to the difficult decision he has made is one of overwhelming sadness.” 

“His own statement clearly indicates how difficult he has found the past few weeks as his nomination has been debated publicly and so now we must respect his need to recover well from all that he has gone through. Bishop Philip’s passion for the Gospel and heart for the poor and disadvantaged, combined with his quick wit and sharp sense of humour, have helped to endear him to people of all ages and church traditions across our Diocese. And I know that he has valued the support he has received from so many women and men, both lay and ordained, within our diocese at this difficult time.”

“Alongside my colleagues in the Bishop’s Leadership Team I look forward to his ongoing service with us in Blackburn and will do all I can to support him in his work as we welcome him back. “In his own words in a text to me this week he has asked me to say how grateful he is for the love, prayers and support of the Diocese of Blackburn in such difficult times and that he looks forward to serving the diocese with renewed vigour when he returns.”

“Philip will be taking a break from his duties prior to his return and I know the whole Diocese will be joining together with me to pray for him at this time. In light of what the Archbishop has said in his own statement I would like to encourage this Lenten period to be one of reflection and prayer.”

Written by: Rufus Olaniyan

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