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World News

Rev Dr Joe Kennedy appointed as next Bishop of Burnley

by Lydia Davies

In an announcement marking a new chapter for the Diocese of Blackburn, Rev Dr Joseph Kennedy has been named the next Suffragan Bishop of Burnley.

The Edinburgh-born vicar is currently serving at Oxton St Saviour in the Diocese of Chester.

Educated in Mathematics and Theology at Edinburgh University before honing his ministry skills at Oxford University, Dr Kennedy journeyed through the Oxford Diocese to reach this latest appointment.

The appointment by the Bishop of Blackburn, Philip North, received approval from His Majesty The King and was officially announced by Downing Street on Friday.

Bishop Philip praised Dr Kennedy's track record in "fostering congregational growth" and expressed confidence in his ability to lead transformative efforts across the Diocese.

He said: "Joe brings experience and expertise in parish renewal... His integrity of faith struck us all... he will bring...a profound trust in Jesus Christ; a sincere commitment to mutual flourishing".

In response, Dr Kennedy shared his excitement and vision for his ministry in Lancashire: "My hope is to offer you a ministry which is confident in God...and which offers a focus for unity across the diocese" he said.

He acknowledged Lancashire's rich diversity and expressed eagerness to work alongside colleagues to further the Vision 2026 initiative aimed at transforming communities through faith.

Speaking to Premier shortly after the announcement, Dr Kennedy said: "I'm absolutely delighted. I think my priorities are pastoral care. So getting out into the, into the diocese, and just meeting people, and making friends being alongside people, encouraging local churches, that their bishop is a pastor. And I'm very much looking forward to deepening my engagement with that and my new role.

Dr Kennedy is also a self-proclaimed dedicated family man. He is married to Emily and has two children.

He is poised will be consecrated on 19th July at York Minster.

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