A priest who is passionate about planting new congregations and creating confident witnesses for Jesus Christ who can become ‘beacons’ in their communities has been chosen to be the next Anglican Suffragan Bishop of Lancaster.
Bolton-born Rev. Dr Jill Duff, 45, went to Bolton School before studying at Christ College, Cambridge and Worcester College, Oxford. Several years in the oil industry followed before Jill trained for the ministry at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford.
The Archbishop of York has welcomed the announcement which was approved by Her Majesty The Queen and posted to the Downing Street website at 10am. Jill succeeds Rt Rev. Geoff Pearson, who retired last July. The date of her consecration at York Minster is June 29, 2018.
Introducing herself, Jill said: “I am thrilled and humbled to be appointed the eighth Bishop of Lancaster. This is a vibrant and exciting part of the Church of England with its Vision 2026: Healthy Churches Transforming Communities. Being born and brought up in Lancashire, the region has been on my heart in prayer for many years.
The Bishop-designate is married to Rev. Prof. Jeremy Duff, who is Principal of the St Padarn’s Institute in the Church in Wales, and they have two sons, Robbie, aged 13 and Harry, aged 10.
Introducing Jill to the Diocese as the future Anglican Bishop of Lancaster, Diocesan Bishop Rt Rev. Julian Henderson said today: “Bishop Philip and I are delighted to welcome Jill as a new member of the episcopal team here in the Diocese.
“She comes to us with a wealth of experience; a passion for prayer and for spreading the Gospel. In Jill we have a new Bishop who will make a significant contribution to the life of the Church of England in Lancashire and we look forward to her consecration in York in June.
Bishop Philip added: “Jill and I have worked together on the development of the Leadership Hub at St James and we co-hosted a seminar in Preston just two weeks ago for clergy from the most deprived parishes in Lancashire.
“Her insight and clear-sightedness about the ways we can be reaching out to people in deprived urban settings was tangible and the 40 or so clergy who attended were enthused by her encouraging and supportive words.”
The Archbishop of York, The Most Rev. and Rt Hon. John Sentamu, has added his voice to those welcoming the new Bishop-designate of Lancaster saying: “I am delighted that Jill will be joining the Episcopal Team in the Diocese of Blackburn. As Bishop of Lancaster she will bring her gifts as a Theological Educator to refresh theological wisdom in the Diocese.
“We are all rejoicing at her nomination and praying for her to flourish in her calling as Bishop in the Church of God.
“Our prayers too are with the family as they adjust to her new role as Bishop. Her Ordination as Bishop in the Church of God, in York Minster in June, will be a celebration for us all. Praise the Lord!”
Premier’s Northern Correspondent Ian Britton interviewed the Rev. Dr Jill Duff during her whistle stop tour of the Diocese of Blackburn
Picture Credit: Blackburn Diocese Sara Cuff