First woman bishop news welcomed in Norfolk
The appointment of the first woman bishop in the Church of England, Rev Libby Lane, has been welcomed by senior church figures in Norfolk.
Downing Street has announced that the new Bishop of Stockport will be Rev Libby Lane, currently Vicar of St Peter's, Hale, and St Elizabeth's, Ashley and she will be consecrated at a ceremony at York Minister on Monday January 26.
Long-time supporter of women bishops, the Rt Rev Graham James, Bishop of Norwich, said: “This is a day which many people have longed to see. Libby Lane will face a huge amount of expectation and she can be assured of prayers and support across the Church of England. She is already serving as a parish priest in the diocese where she will be a bishop, and it is clear that it is local appreciation of her ministry which has led to her appointment. She will be much in my prayers as she prepares for her consecration.”
The Very Rev Dr Jane Hedges, Dean of Norwich, said of the appointment: “Many of us hoped that the first woman bishop would be appointed early in 2015, so it is rather a surprise that an appointment has happened even sooner than that. Libby will be an excellent Bishop with her wide experience of diocesan and parish ministry and we all rejoice with her at this exciting point in the Church’s history. She will of course be exposed to a number of pressures as all eyes tend to be on people who are the first to hold particular roles. I hope that she will be well supported by those around her so that she is able to flourish in her ministry and in turn enable others to flourish in theirs.”
Libby Lane was ordained as a priest in 1994 and has served a number of parish and chaplaincy roles in the North of England in the Dioceses of Blackburn, York and Chester. She is one of eight clergy women from the Church of England elected as Participant Observers in the House of Bishops, as the representative from the dioceses of the North West.
Speaking at Stockport town hall, she said: "I am grateful for, though somewhat daunted by, the confidence placed in me by the Diocese of Chester. This is unexpected and very exciting. On this historic day as the Church of England announces the first woman nominated to be Bishop, 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 church faces wonderful opportunities, to proclaim afresh, in this generation, the Good News of Jesus and to build His Kingdom. The Church of England is called to serve all the people of this country, and being present in every community, we communicate our faith best when our lives build up the lives of others, especially the most vulnerable. I am excited by the possibilities and challenges ahead."
The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby, said: ""I am absolutely delighted that Libby has been appointed to succeed Bishop Robert Atwell as Bishop of Stockport. Her Christ-centred life, calmness and clear determination to serve the church and the community make her a wonderful choice.
"She will be bishop in a diocese that has been outstanding in its development of people, and she will make a major contribution. She and her family will be in my prayers during the initial excitement, and the pressures of moving".
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Pictured above is Rev Libby Lane, the new Bishop of Stockport. Picture by Kippa Matthews.
Comments from Network Norfolk readers (technical issue means previous comments pasted below:) please add yours below
James Tidd · Norwich City College
I really think that two should have been appointed, you have no idea how famous or infamous she is going to be. A first has to come and the females won't be satisfied until they're Archbishop's, then why don't they just make God a female too. As an ex RC turned Anglican, the RC in me says that I am against it full stop, the Anglican in me says good luck Libby. I know I wouldn't want that sort of burden on my shoulders.
Reply · Like · Follow Post · December 18 at 10:43pm
t.cumbers (signed in using yahoo)
What a testimony of such faith which has embraced many in their times of bereavement. Thank you William for being obedient to a call to help so many.
I believe this time of year is an encouragement to everyone to remember a baby was born into what some may perceive as poverty. The Gospels help us to realise that Jesus was honoured by God. How wonderful to read how Luke highlights that those who were treated as social outcasts and downtrodden who were previously excluded as social outcasts are included.
Because of this baby wherever we are, we now have access to salvation, deliverances and healing.
I love and honour your testimony.
May you have a Christmas and New Year full of Joy and Peace
Theresa Cumbers - STEP NORWICH.