C of E greets first woman bishop

Published: Monday 26th January 2015 by The News Editor

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The Church of England’s first female bishop will be consecrated today.

The Rev Libby Lane will be consecrated as the eighth Bishop of Stockport in a service at York Minster conducted by the Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu.

In a historic move ending centuries of all-male leadership in the Church, M rs Lane was named as the new Bishop of Stockport last month.

The announcement came a month after the General Synod formally adopted legislation allowing women bishops.

Prime Minister David Cameron hailed the ”historic appointment” as an ”important day for equality”, and the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby, said he was ”absolutely delighted”.

Mrs Lane said it was a ”great honour” to be given the role.

She dismissed suggestions that her appointment is just a symbolic gesture by a Church still predominantly run by men.

She said at the time: ”This moment is significant, but it is not simply a gesture. I’m the first, but I won’t be the only.

”And I follow in the footsteps of women across the Anglican Church and globally.”

Mrs Lane has two children with her husband, the Rev George Lane, and s he said her family were delighted at the news.

Her appointment came a year after previous proposals in favour of women bishops were brought down by traditionalists.

Asked whether she feared her nomination would spark division in the Church, she said she wanted to ”heal and not to hurt. To build up and not to destroy”.

A relative unknown, she was not on the bookies’ shortlists of female priests tipped to be selected to the historic role.

But Mrs Lane is a very well-respected figure locally in the church.

Originally part of a committee tasked with trying to find a candidate for the bishopric, she was invited to apply for it herself when the General Synod voted to allow women to become bishops.

She comes from an Anglican, but not particularly church-going, family, and says she ”was loved into faith” by a small Anglican church community in rural Derbyshire.

She went on to study theology at St Peter’s College, at Oxford University, where she met her husband, and t he pair were ordained together in July 1994, with Mrs Lane becoming one of the first female priests in the Church of England.

Over the last two decades she has served a number of parish and chaplaincy roles in the north of England in the dioceses of Blackburn, York and Chester.

Published: Monday 26th January 2015 by The News Editor

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