News Release

New bishop for Blackburn

Stephen Forward is a sixth generation member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and has been called as the new bishop of the Blackburn congregation.  He is a life-long member of the Church with his ancestors joining in 1866, “many emigrated” he says, “but one line always stayed here for one reason or another. “  

Bishop Forward, who lives on the Blackburn side of Chorley across the M60 motorway with distant views directly of the Preston Temple, is married to Jenny and they have six children, 5 boys, Isaac 14, Joshua 12, Jamie 11, Ethan 8 & Luke 2 and one girl Leah aged 5.  Both he and his wife have served full-time missions. Bishop Forward was called to serve a mission for the Church in the Philippines, Baguio Mission (1986 to 1988) and Jenny served in Leeds, England.

Bishop Forward works as a Chemical Engineer in Speke Liverpool.  His wife’s parents moved into Chorley to serve an 18 month mission in the Preston Temple and decided to stay. Stephen and Jenny decided to join them in 2011. Having visited this area about 14 years ago through business opportunities, and knowing the strong historical association the Mormon Church has with Lancashire he says,”  Since reading the history of the Church in the North West, I really feel that this area is special.  What a great heritage this area has and what a great privilege it is to live here at this time.”    

As a new bishop (local minister) he feels both excitement and apprehension. Bishop Forward  comments, “I knew very few people, so going there as the new bishop was a little strange.  Getting to know the people has been great, it really is a family!   There is wonderful love there and I felt it was home.  I felt strongly that our first step is to see that it (the congregation) is a place where everyone will feel welcome and want to be, and with that love we can then reach out to others.”  


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