The licensing service for the new Director of Whalley Abbey, Rev. Adam Thomas, took place at nearby Whalley Parish Church, the Diocese of Blackburn announced.
Due to pandemic restrictions attendance numbers at the service were limited.
The current plan is to have the Whalley Abbey site fully reopened by September of this year as a Centre for Christian Discipleship and Prayer, pandemic restrictions permitting at that time of course, but bookings enquiries can be made now by contacting the new Director to start a conversation.
Representing strong support from the whole Diocese for the plans, Adam’s licensing service was attended by all diocesan Bishops and Archdeacons: Rt Rev. Julian Henderson, Bishop of Blackburn; Rt Rev. Philip North, Bishop of Burnley; Rt Rev. Dr Jill Duff, Bishop of Lancaster; the Venerable David Picken, Archdeacon of Lancaster and the Venerable Mark Ireland, Archdeacon of Blackburn, who is also current Chair of the Whalley Abbey Steering Group.
Bishop Julian Henderson said, “The licensing service this evening represents a new chapter in the history of an ancient Christian site. As we emerge from the pandemic in the coming months and years, our new Centre for Christian Discipleship and Prayer at Whalley will be a place of refreshment. We are all praying for Adam and Cathy and for the success of the project.
“The new Centre will serve our parishes of course, helping to create a new generation of disciples, witnesses and leaders for Christ; inspiring children and young people too.
“But, as has been the case for countless previous generations, a welcome to the Abbey retreat house is also extended to everyone from across the whole of the County of Lancashire and beyond.”