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Blackburn Cathedral played host to clergy from across Lancashire earlier today for the annual Chrism Eucharist.

The service is a highlight of the year for clergy where, in the presence of members of the congregations they serve, they are invited to reaffirm their ordination promise.

The service led by the Bishop of Burnley, the Rt Rev Philip North, was also attended by the Anglican Bishop of Lancaster, Rt Rev Dr Jill Duff; the Archdeacon of Blackburn, the Venerable Mark Ireland; the Archdeacon of Lancaster, the Venerable David Picken; and the Dean of Blackburn, the Very Rev Peter Howell-Jones.  

During the service, as well as inviting the clergy renew their Ordination promises, Bishop Philip blessed the three oils that are used by many clergy in their ministry.

The oil of healing brings comfort to the sick. The oil of Baptism is used to make the sign of the cross on the heads of those to be baptised. The oil of Chrism, mixed with balsam, is a sign of being set apart for service. It is Chrism oil that will be used to anoint the King at his forthcoming Coronation on May 6.

Presenting the three Chrism oils were Rev. Sarah Gill, Bishop’s Advisor on UKME and GMH matters; Rev. Calum Crombie, Bishop’s Advisor on Prison Chaplaincy and Rev Andrew Horsfall, Bishop’s Advisor on Health and Social Care Chaplaincy. 

For the Renewal of Commitment to Ministry part of the service after Bishop Philip had led clergy in renewing their vows he also renewed his vows alongside Bishop Jill, with questions being asked by Lydia Cheesman, from Langho St Leonard’s Primary School.

The Chrism Eucharist is part of the way that clergy prepare themselves to lead their congregations through the great events of Holy Week: Good Friday and Easter Day.

Bishop Philip said today: "The Chrism Eucharist is a solemn and important moment in the life of the Diocese, a time when God reminds us of our call to serve 

“We now disperse again across Lancashire to continue our journey through Holy Week.

"My prayer is that our clergy will feel refreshed and renewed and ready to share the Good News of the Easter story with all the people of Lancashire.”

Captions for the above pictures, from top to bottom

  • (Top of page) Bishop Philip (at centre) speaks to assembled clergy outside the Cathedral, gathered after the Chrism Eucharist 
  • The Cathedral scene during the Chrism Eucharist 
  • Archdeacon Mark (left) and Archdeacon David (right) in the procession at the start of the Chrism Eucharist 
  • Chrism oils lined up ready for taking back to parishes after the Chrism Eucharist 
  • The Cathedral procession at the close of the Chrism Eucharist 
  • At Renewal of Commitment to Ministry, Lydia Cheesman of Langho St Leonard’s Primary School asks the Bishops' questions 
  • Rev Calum Crombie, Bishop’s Advisor on Prison Chaplaincy and Rev. Sarah Gill, Bishop’s Advisor on UKME and GMH matters, after presenting the oils during the Chrism Service 




Ronnie Semley, April 2023