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The importance of worship was front and centre at a series of five Clergy Study Mornings in March.

The study events, coordinated by the Making Disciples Team at the Diocesan Offices, are now annual in the calendar and have a different theme each year.

Canon Dr Michael Leyden, Dean of Emmanuel Theological College, was keynote speaker and the events were hosted by Bishop Philip and Bishop Jill, alongside the Archdeacons, Mark and David.

A further study morning for Licensed Lay Ministers (LLMs) takes place later this month. further details below.

Michael explored the biblical context of worship, as well as allowing space for Clergy to reflect, drawing on their own experience and the experience of colleagues to develop new insight and skills for their local contexts.

He said: "It has been delightful to be part of these clergy study mornings. We have been thinking together about worship and how worship forms us and moulds us as God's people; preparing us to live the life that God has called us to."

Speaking at the first study morning, Bishop Philip added: "Worship is at the heart of our lives as Christians - it's where we find out who we are and encounter God and are changed by Him.

"I'm delighted we have been able to organise this series of study mornings on worship. a chance to think about how we make our worship worthy of God; how we make it more accessible and how we improve the welcome.

"The best way to grow a church is the get the worship right and that's why it is at the heart of our work towards healthy churches, transforming communities as part of Vision 2026." 

At two of the study mornings there was an additional guest speaker as Bishop Joseph Aba from South Sudan dropped by while he was in the Diocese for the week. Read a report on Bishop Joseph’s visit here


  • The series of study mornings ends with an event at Whalley Abbey on Saturday, April 22, where our LLMs will have the opportunity to look at the same topic with Michael Leyden. All LLMs should have received an invitation but if you are an LLM who has not yet booked, there are a few places left which can be booked here.
  • Thanks to the people at all the venues which hosted the mornings … St Thomas’ Lancaster; Whalley Abbey; St Ambrose, Leyland; Christ Church, Thornton-le-Fylde and St Stephen’s, Burnley

Captions for above pictures, top to bottom

  • Bishop Joseph Aba speaking at the Burnley event
  • Bishop Jill leads Communion at the Leyland study morning
  • Bishop Philip speaks to bishop Joseph at the Thornton study morning as clergy listen
  • Carolyn Barton, Director of Vision Delivery, discussed strategic objectives for the Diocese towards the close of each event
  • Archdeacon Mark, right, with Rev Matt Guilder
  • A busy breakout session at the Lancaster morning
  • Archdeacon David and Bishop Philip chat with clergy during one of the breakout sessions
  • Rev Canon Dr Michael Leyden spoke in person at every one of the clergy study mornings



Ronnie Semley, April 2023