The Ven. Julian Henderson, Archdeacon of Dorking, will be the next Bishop of Blackburn and he immediately broke from his predecessors by announcing that he will ordain women to the priesthood and is in favor of women serving as Bishops.
Unlike his two predecessors – the Rt Revd Nicholas Reade, who retired on 31 October; and the Rt Revd Alan Chesters – Archdeacon Henderson is willing to ordain women as priests. He said on Friday that he was “in favour of women serving as bishops”, although he voted against the draft women bishops Measure in November
Archdeacon Henderson said in a statement issued by Church House: “Let me be clear, I am in favour of women serving as bishops and will want to introduce a change in the current diocesan pattern by ordaining women as deacons and priests.
“But I hope my vote at General Synod last November will be a reassurance to those opposed to this development, that I want to be a figure of unity on this matter and will ensure there is an honoured place for both positions within the mainstream of the Church of England. Might Blackburn be a model for the rest of the Church of England!”
In January, more than 50 clergy from Blackburn diocese signed a letter urging the Archbishop of York, Dr Sentamu, to ensure that their next diocesan bishop would ordain women as priests
Archbishop Sentamu welcomed the appointment in this statement.