A new Archdeacon has been appointed in The Church of England in Lancashire.
Mark Ireland is the new Archdeacon of Blackburn and will cover areas such as Leyland and Chorley in the southern part of the Diocese. The northern part of the Diocese is covered by the Archdeacon of Lancaster, The Venerable Michael Everitt.
Mark, 55, is currently Vicar of All Saints Church in Wellington with St Catherine’s Church in Eyton, both in the Diocese of Lichfield.
He knows the Diocese of Blackburn well having begun his career in ministry in the city as a Curate at St Gabriel’s Church in Blackburn from 1984-1987.
He takes over as Archdeacon from John Hawley, who retired in the summer after 13 years in the role and is now looking forward to returning to the North West with his wife Gill.
He said: “I feel both excited and humbled to have been chosen as the next Archdeacon of Blackburn and to return to the region where I was ordained and where I served my first curacy, at St. Gabriel’s. For Gill and I it will also be very special to come back to Lancashire as we first met when we both lived in Baxenden.”