Royal Visit to Blackburn

We were lucky enough to receive two tickets for the Queens’ visit to Blackburn Cathedral on April 17th.  It was a great honour for the Diocese to be chosen to host the Queens distribution of the Maundy Money, a custom that can be traced back all the way to King John in 1210.

After finding our way through the very tight, but efficient and friendly security at The Cathedral, we took our place in the south transept, which had a very good view of the proceedings

Among the 88 women and men who received the Maundy Money was Betty Stancliffe, who I’m sure a lot of you will know from Church.

The service started with a Royal Fanfare, by the Northern Chamber Orchestra, and I must say it made the hairs stand up on the back of my neck stand up.

Then followed the Church Service including Lessons read by The Dean of Blackburn The Very Reverend Christopher Armstrong and Jack Straw, our abiding memory is of the very solemn nature of the Service and the beautiful Choir and Music.

Then followed the distribution of the Maundy Money, and we were very fortunate that The Queen passed within a metre or so of where we were stood, her radiant smile to each and every one of the recipients was a real joy to see, it was evident that she really enjoys that part of the ceremony.

Our thanks go to Canon Hindley who organized the whole event so well, it really was a day to remember

Roger and Moya

Interfaith Forum

The Blackburn with Darwen InterFaith Group — of which our Vicar, myself and Jo are members – met in our church lounge on Thursday 10th April for a development meeting. Present were members of the Christian, Jewish, Sikh, Buddhist, Muslim and Hindu faiths along with guest speakers from The Lancashire Council of Mosques, the Statutory Advisory Committee for Religious Education, Churches Together in Lancashire and Blackburn Cathedral. After a thorough review of what the Forum has achieved in the past, very useful input was given as to plans for an effective future. There was great enthusiasm for working together in joint events for schools and in the wider community. The members were very appreciative of the venue – so much so that the next meeting of the Forum will also take place at St. James’.  If you are a little fearful of working with people from other faiths – why not come along as an observer to our next meeting. We know that you will be enthused and feel very welcome. This meeting is on Thursday 29th May at 10.00am and will be finished by 12.30pm. 

Derek Hartley