C of E names its first woman bishop

17 December 2014

KIPPA MATTHEWS

THE first woman bishop in the history of the Church of England is to be the Revd Libby Lane, named today as the next Bishop of Stockport.

Ms Lane, aged 48, is Vicar of Hale and Ashley, and Dean of Women in Ministry in the diocese of Chester. She will be consecrated in York Minister on 26 January.

The announcement was made at Stockport Town Hall. Her appointment was, she said, "unexpected and very exciting.

"I am very conscious of all those who have gone before me, women and men, who for decades have looked forward to this moment. But, most of all, I am thankful to God."

The Archbishop of Canterbury said that he was "absolutely delighted. . . Her Christ-centred life, calmness and clear determination to serve the Church and the community make her a wonderful choice."

Described by the Bishop of Chester, Dr Peter Forster, as a "first-rate parish priest" with a "varied and distinguished ministry", Ms Lane was among the first women ordained in 1994, having trained at Cranmer Hall, Durham. After serving in both Blackburn and York, she moved to Chester in 2000, holding several posts, including that of Assistant Diocesan Director of Ordinands. In 2013 she was among the eight women elected as Participant Observers in the House of Bishops (1 November 2013).

"It is my prayer that I will be able to live out the prayer of the consecration service: that I'll use the authority vested in me to heal and not to hurt, to build up and not to break down," she said on Wednesday.

Ms Lane is married to the Revd George Lane, Coordinating Chaplain at Manchester Airport. They were one of the first married couples in the Church of England to be ordained together. They have two grown-up children.

 

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