Bishop steps away from public duties in Lancashire due to back injury
The Bishop of Blackburn has been forced to temporarily step away from public duties due to a painful back condition.
The Rt Rev Julian Henderson, head of the Church of England in Lancashire, has told clergy across the county that he is unable to carry out some appointments as he waits to go into hospital for an operation.
The 67-year-old Bishop is due to have surgery at the end of January and is expecting to be out of action well into February.
But Diocesan staff say he is continuing to work from home where possible.
In a message to parishes Bishop Julian said: "For some months I have been struggling with a slipped disc and sciatica and in recent weeks it has become considerably worse.
"I am on quite strong medication and am due, God willing and Covid permitting, to have an operation at the end of January.
"I had hoped to be able to keep up with all my normal responsibilities till four days before when I have to isolate."
"However, the situation has got to the point where at times I am not able to walk easily and even with the medication am in constant pain.
"So I will not be able to keep the engagements in my diary during January and for my recovery in part of February and will arrange for cover to make sure nothing has to be cancelled or postponed."
Bishop Julian has been Lancashire's top Anglican clergyman since 2013, having previously been Archdeacon of Dorking in the Diocese of Guildford.
The Bishop of Burnley, Rt Rev Philip North, and the Bishop of Lancaster, Rt Rev Jill Duff, are supporting him until he is fit to return.
A spokesperson said: “Bishop Julian has asked for the Diocese of Blackburn to pray for him as he awaits his operation for a slipped disc.
"He will be off from January 25 until the middle to end of February to recover.
"Until then he is still working from home and is grateful for the advances in technology made over the last 18 months which have made this possible.”