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Bishop of Blackburn wishes East Lancashire a Happy Christmas
7:00pm Wednesday 25th December 2013 in News
NEW Bishop of Blackburn Julian Henderson has urged Lancashire residents to enjoy their Christmas gifts, families and friends while not forgetting to celebrate the birth of Christ.
The leader of the county’s Church of England said he was delighted to be able to send a message to Christians and others for the first time in his new job.
The Rt Rev Henderson said: “It is a great privilege to be able to wish you a very Happy Christmas on this my first Christmas as the Bishop of Blackburn.
“I wonder what ‘Happy Christmas’ means to each of us?
“A peaceful day?
“Time with family and friends?
“Break from work?
“Receiving and giving of gifts?
“I hope that everyone will enjoy some if not all of those pleasures – though I know that Christmas can sometimes be a difficult and even a painful time, and my thoughts are with those who are lonely, bereaved, seriously ill or struggling financially.
“I believe that ‘Happy Christmas’ means something more than these material things. It is a time when we are all invited to enter into a joyful celebration, that God has loved the world so much that He sent His Son into the world.
“He came as a new-born baby, Jesus, entering into the full human experience of life on earth, with all its joys and sorrows. So Christmas for me is the celebration of an extraordinary miracle — God with us, which is what the name Emmanuel means.
“And that is all the more wonderful, when we remember what humankind did to Him — putting Him on a cross and leaving Him there to die. Christmas leads to Good Friday, and then thankfully to Easter.
“So I wish every reader, and all your friends and loved ones, a blessed, peaceful and Happy Christmas.
“And my prayer is that we will all understand and receive the wonderful gift of God’s gift of His Son, Jesus Christ, and so find a joy and peace in knowing Him whatever our circumstances.”
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