On Thursday 7th January our vicar, Rev Arun John ,was installed as Area Dean by the Bishop of Blackburn in a service at St James’ Church. There were many visiting clergy and an Asian Christian choir joining the celebration. The service was well attended by members of the congregation from St Stephen’s as well as St James’. It was a very proud day for us and for our vicar. It is an honour and a privilege for him to be given such a prestigious position. We wish him well in this new role.
Bishop Julian, as part of his exercise to know the clergy and laity in different deaneries in Blackburn Diocese, had offered three days from 7th to 9th September to meet different clergies in the deanery of Blackburn with Darwen.
So on 8th September Bishop Julian spent about two hours with our vicar Arun to understand our mission and ministry in the United Benefice of St. Stephen’s and St. James Blackburn. After an hour of sharing they both spent time together in prayer at the side chapel of St. James’ Blackburn. The evening concluded with dinner (South and South East Asian meal) cooked by Arun as Bina is still in India.
Arun writes, ‘Bishop Julian is a passionate Christian with a zeal to communicate the Gospel of Jesus to people of different faiths or no faith in the Diocese. I found him to be a leader with a vision to build the confidence of both laity and ordained ministers to live for Christ and share their joyful Christian testimony with their neighbours offering them hope and assurance of God’s loving care in Jesus Christ.’
We pray that God may continue to lead and guide Bishop Julian
After three years Blackburn with Carlisle Diocese played its first Times Cup Clergy Cricket Tournament – thanks in the main to the glorious weather this year! The match was against a team from the Diocese of Liverpool and took place on the 5th June. Arun had his first hat-trick, taking four wickest in three overs, helping the team to win the match against Liverpool.
In the next round on June 19th however, as much as Arun enjoyed playing against the team from Manchester Diocese and taking four wickets in the process, the team lost the match and could not reach the Semi-Final.
Let’s hope that St. James’ Derek and Arun will be able to put up a team together and arrange sometournament with local teams to have some time of fun and fellowship with our neighbours.
If you want to see Arun’s batting style, a couple of images are included in the link below !