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Lancashire: preparations intensify for county-wide outreach

Churches across Lancashire are gearing up for the county-wide Crossroads mission next month ...

The Diocese of Blackburn (The Church of England in Lancashire) is preparing to welcome the Archbishop of York and around 25 Bishops from across the north of England for the Crossroads Mission next month.

And the Diocese has just released a video message (right) from the Diocesan Bishop, Rt Rev Julian Henderson, inviting people across Lancashire to take part, alongside a message of greeting to Lancashire and one of encouragement directly to parishes from the Archbishop of York.

Taking place from September 8-11 this year. Crossroads will form part of the ongoing work of witness in Lancashire for Vision 2026: Healthy Churches Transforming Communities.

Bishop Julian, the Bishop of Blackburn, said: "Put simply, Crossroads Mission is about sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ with people across Lancashire. There are hundreds of Crossroads events taking place across the county.

“The list of events taking place is huge – more than 400 at the last count – and is a testament to the creativity and ingenuity of every single person in parishes and schools who has got involved in planning the Crossroads Mission.”

Speaking in the new video, Bishop Julian adds: “We want to share the good news of Jesus Christ with as many people as possible and consequently each local community is putting on all sorts of events. You will get a warm welcome.

“This message from me today is to encourage you to get involved when you hear about something happening locally or when you are invited to an event. Please attend, participate and take the opportunity to hear what Christian faith is really all about.

“There are many mixed messages about what it means to believe and what it means to be a Christian. This is a chance to hear the message for yourself and have a chance to respond.”

The Archbishop says: “Greetings to all in Lancashire in the name of the Risen Lord! I look forward to being part of Crossroads Mission in September.”

And speaking directly to people working hard to prepare for the event in parishes, the Archbishop adds: “The amazing four day Crossroads Mission in the Diocese of Blackburn from September 8 – 11 is fantastic opportunity for us to be more confident about the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

“Pray daily to be renewed in the power of the Holy Spirit for Crossroads, because the Holy Spirit is the director of Mission.”

Crossroads begins with a huge commissioning service at Blackburn Cathedral on September 8 at 2pm and ends with a celebration event on Preston's Flag Market at 4pm on Sunday, September 11, both of which will be led by the Archbishop himself. All are welcome to attend both events.

During Crossroads there are events for all ages: men’s breakfasts; quiz nights; mums and toddlers gatherings; barbeques; car washes; heritage open days; collective worship; Bible studies … and an awful lot of opportunities to ‘grill’ a Bishop!

There are some events specifically aimed at young people including ‘Light at the Crossroads’, a youth event at Bowley Scout Camp in Great Harwood on September 8 featuring live music, a bonfire and fireworks which will be attended by the Archbishop (see www.lightatthecrossroads.co.uk) and a Schools’ Celebration Event involving thousands of youngsters at Ewood Park in Blackburn on September 9 at 10am.

Meanwhile, behind the scenes preparation of resources for parishes has begun in earnest with more than 55,000 pieces of material sorted and bagged up today in Chorley (Thursday) by an army of volunteers led by Parish Mission Support Department Leader Rev. David Banbury, who lives in Leyland.

He said: “This is an exciting time for the Diocese. Having the Archbishop and Bishops from across the north of England coming to Lancashire in September will help to galvanise four days of mission and evangelism. It will be a fantastic opportunity to share the Gospel message with our family, friends and neighbours.”

Find out more about Crossroads Mission here

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