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Crossroads Mission Gets Underway Across Lancashire

Thursday 8th September 2016

Hundreds of people from parishes in every part of Lancashire today joined the Archbishop of York and 20+ bishops and visiting teams from across the northern half of the Church of England to herald the start of a huge four day Christian mission event across the County.

The Crossroads Mission is a personal initiative of the Archbishop, The Most Rev. and Rt Hon Dr John Sentamu and runs from today (September 8) until Sunday, September 11.

It is an annual event and this year (the first time the mission has been in the North West) it has been organised by the Diocese of Blackburn - The Church of England in Lancashire.

This afternoon Blackburn Cathedral played host to the Archbishop and the teams from ten other northern dioceses for a special commissioning service, as they prepare for missional activities in 14 deaneries across Lancashire over the next few days.

The Archbishop told those present: “Be excited that you can turn the world upside down. When the Holy Spirit fills a person, they are filled with a love that must come out.”

Earlier the Bishop of Burnley, the Rt Rev. Philip North, who is currently the Acting Dean of the Cathedral, told those gathered: “It’s so good to welcome you here today. This Commissioning Service starts four days of mission and there’s a wonderful buzz of excitement. These will not just be social gatherings; they are to be times of proclamation.”

The Bishop of Blackburn, the Rt Rev. Julian Henderson, said: “It’s an honour and privilege to welcome you all here and a big thank you goes to all those who have made the journey to be with us.

“We come together to ask for God’s blessing on more than 450 different outreach events which will be taking place across the diocese over the next few days and which take in a huge percentage of our parishes.

“It’s wonderful to see how people have joined together for this Crossroads event. Please pray for these four days of mission and let them be the beginning of even more mission and outreach across Lancashire.”

Congregation members joined together in song and in prayer and turning to all four compass points of the diocese during the intercessions to bless the Crossroads Mission events across the whole of Lancashire.

The Archbishop preached on a passage from Matthew 28, in which Jesus commands his followers to make disciples of all nations.

He said: “We stand at the Crossroads. Encourage people to consider Christ. Invite people to encounter God. Don’t ever leave anyone out because Jesus wants all nations to be His disciples. Accept Jesus Christ and receive Him as our saviour and then go and glorify his name together.”

The Commissioning Service concluded with the hymn ‘We Have a Gospel to Proclaim’ and three resounding shouts from the congregation: ‘The Lord reigns!’

With the Crossroads Mission now underway, tonight and over the next three days until Sunday September 11 there are more than 450 mission events across Lancashire

They range from the Archbishop’s visit to Kirkham Prison on Sunday morning to a gathering of more than 4000 schoolchildren on Friday morning at Ewood Park. From small-scale events to large gatherings there will be many opportunities for the people of Lancashire to hear about the saving grace of Jesus Christ.

Speaking on Premier Christian Radio before attending the service today the other ‘host Diocese’ Bishop, Rt Rev. Geoff Pearson, who is the Bishop of Lancaster, summed up what Crossroads Mission will be about saying: "You look at the papers or you read the news at the moment and there's such a lot of bad news about, but that's only one side of the truth, and we wanted to make sure we communicated good news, and the good news of the Gospel.

"We're talking about 450+ events in venues of all sizes from football stadiums to people’s homes, in schools and, of course, local churches."

Find out more about the events by visiting the diocesan website www.blackburn.anglican.org and clicking on the Crossroads panel on the homepage.

Media interest was high in the service and the whole Crossroads Mission weekend, with coverage on BBC Radio Lancashire throughout the day, and more planned across the weekend; BBC North West Tonight; That’s Lancashire TV (Freeview Channel 7); Premier Christian Radio and many Lancashire magazines and newspapers.

The event is prominent on social media (see below) and this week the Bishop of Burnley (a regular Tweeter) is also is the choice for the @OurCofE Twitter Feed. The @OurCofE feed changes each week to profile a different member of The Church of England.

Meanwhile there will be a special Crossroads Mission-focussed live church service broadcast on the national @ChurchLive Twitter feed and via the Periscope app.

You can follow @ChurchLive to watch the service, which comes from St Catherine’s Church in Burnley where Father Roger Park and his congregation will be joined by the visiting Bishop of Beverley, Rt Rev. Glyn Webster

You can also follow the latest this weekend about Crossroads Mission online and on social media:

  • The hashtag to use is #crossroadslancs
  • Twitter: Tweet on your own accounts and follow @cofelancs, @crossroads_info and @OurCofE for updates. Use the hashtag for retweets
  • YouTube: search online for ‘YouTube’ and ‘Blackburn Diocese’ and subscribe to our channel for all the latest Crossroads videos
  • Flickr: follow us at Flickr/blackburndiocese
  • ‘Like’ Crossroads Mission on Facebook: www.facebook.com/cofelancs
  • All Crossroads Mission news is available on the Diocesan website, along with a full list of events: www.blackburn.anglican.org … and also see www.archbishopofyork.org for stories about the Archbishop’s activities during Crossroads.
  • You can also follow the national @ChurchLive Twitter feed which will broadcast a Crossroads Mission service from St Catherine’s Church in Burnley on Sunday morning

  

Enquiries about Crossroads Mission: Ronnie Semley,DiocesanCommunications Manager; ronnie.semley@blackburn.anglican.org; 01254 50 34 16

Enquiries about the Archbishop’s itinerary: Elizabeth Addy on elizabeth.addy@archbishopofyork.org or 01904 772365

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