Thinking Anglicans

The Rt Revd Libby Lane

Updated Monday evening and Tuesday morning

Church House press release

Rt Revd Libby Lane consecrated at York Minster
26 January 2015

The Rt Revd Libby Lane has been consecrated as the first female bishop in the Church of England in a packed service at York Minster today attended by more than 100 bishops from the Church of England and women bishops from across the Anglican Communion.

In a statement shortly after being consecrated, Bishop Libby said she had been encouraged by the thousands of messages of support she has received since the news of her appointment was announced. She said:

“Archbishop Sentamu has observed, “the way that we show our faith and our love for one another is with two simple things, prayer and parties.” Today is an occasion of prayer and of party – and I am thrilled that so many want to share in both. I cannot properly express how encouraged I have been in the weeks since the announcement of my nomination, by the thousands of messages I have received with words of congratulation, support and wisdom. I’ve heard from people of all ages, women and men – people I have known for years, and people I have never met; people from down the road, and people from across the world.

“Many those who have been in touch have little or no contact with the Church of England; not all have been people of faith, but every one of them has felt this moment marks something important. That all this personal – and media – attention has centred on me has been a little overwhelming: I cannot possibly live up to everyone’s expectation. And so today, at my consecration, I hold on to words of promise from the Bible, a reassurance that all this does not depend on me … ‘the God who calls you is faithful: He will do it’ (1 Thessalonians 5:24).

“My consecration service is not really about me. With echoes of practice which has been in place for hundreds of years in the church, it is a reminder that what I am about to embark on is shared by the bishops around me, by those who have gone before me and those who will come after. It places the ministry of a bishop in the context of the ministry of all God’s people. And most importantly it retells the good news of Jesus, the faithful one, who calls each of us to follow him.

“Thank you to all who are praying for me and partying with me today. Please continue to hold me in your prayers as, after the example of St Timothy and St Titus who are celebrated by the Church on this day, I share in work of proclaiming the gospel, in word and action, and bearing witness to the name of Jesus.”

Early press reports (some of which give undue prominence to the lone protester)

Andrew Brown The Guardian First female Church of England bishop consecrated in York

BBC News Libby Lane: First female Church of England bishop consecrated

John Bingham The Telegraph Vicar tries to stop Rev Libby Lane being consecrated as Church of England’s first female bishop

Roisin O’Connor The Independent Libby Lane formally appointed first woman bishop by Church Of England

Claer Barrett Financial Times Church of England ordains first woman bishop

Yorkshire Post ‘Not in my name’: Protestor heckles first female bishop at York Minster service

Dave Walker I have modified my ‘Bishops’ cartoon

Updates

Gavin Drake Church Times C of E’s first woman bishop consecrated

York Mix 12 marvellous moments from the service to ordain #BishopLibby [pictures]

Andrew Brown The Guardian Libby Lane: not quite a Viking raid, but York sees history in the Minster

Jessica Elgot Huffington Post First Woman Bishop Ordained By Church Of England As Libby Lane Made Bishop Of Stockport [pictures]

Sally Hitchener The Independent Libby Lane’s appointment as the first female bishop might have been understated, but its importance echoes around the world

Carey Lodge Christian Today First woman bishop Libby Lane: ‘Pray for me as I share in the work of proclaiming the gospel’

BBC News In pictures: Church of England’s first woman bishop consecration [pictures]

Other links

Chester diocesan website Libby Lane is now Bishop of Stockport

And one piece of trivia. This is the bible presented to the new bishop: Nicholas King’s complete translation of his Study Bible. [h/t Helen-Ann Hartley]

42
Leave a Reply

avatar
3000
42 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
30 Comment authors
AndrewFather Davidpeter kettleMalcolm DixonDavid Runcorn Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest
Notify of
Laurie
Guest
Laurie

Very moving indeed.

So right and fitting.

And an international occasion as befits something which other provinces and denominations have been doing for decades.

Good to see Old Catholics and Lutherans and other ecumenical partners; including Porvoo.

peterpi - Peter Gross
Guest
peterpi - Peter Gross

Praise God from whom all blessing flows!

I note that the Sun still rises in the East. The Earth is still rotating on its axis. The Universe is still intact. Her Majesty still sits upon the throne. God is in His/Her heaven, and all is well.

Tom Marshall
Guest
Tom Marshall

So right and fitting indeed, as Laurie says. But why, for such a significant and profound occasion were we subjected to such a surprisingly dull, theologically ‘thin’ and (at times) cringe-inducing sermon? It began in typical ‘girl church’ fashion and, as my wife said to me, why do these women wonder why no-one takes them seriously? For such a momentous moment in the Church’s history, how come we didn’t hear Sarah Coakley, Ann Loades, Angela Tilby or Judith Maltby? I know, you will quickly tell me that consecrands are allowed to choose their own preacher. But why? Deacons and priests… Read more »

Father David
Guest
Father David

Peter, I further note that the south transept of York Minster is still intact and has not been struck by lightening. Tom, perhaps one of the most memorable sermons delivered at a consecration was given by Canon F A Simpson at Southwark cathedral when Mervyn Stockwood was elevated to the episcopacy. The full story is told in “A Last Eccentric” where one of the last Prince Bishops takes up the story:- “in November 1958 Monsignor Gilbey gave his customary dinner in honour of Simpson’s birthday. My appointment to Southwark had just been announced. The Monsignor, who knew more about the… Read more »

Stan Shaw
Guest
Stan Shaw

She is wrong to say that this is not about her. She was consecrated not womankind. I have seen precious little about the merits of her appointment as an individual. It seems that it is sufficient that she is a woman which sells both her and other candidates short. There should have been a full and frank discussion of her merits alongside those of other “possibles”. Would be interesting to see her compared with say Jeffrey John

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Stan
‘There should have been a full and frank discussion of her merits alongside those of other “possibles”‘

I don’t believe it is customary for the CNC to release information about their deliberations. Why should they make an exception in this case?
Or were you rather saying that there should have been a lot more public gossip and speculation about it?

ED notes: this was a suffragan see, not under the purview of the CNC.

James A
Guest
James A

I think the very clear merits of Libby Lane’s candidacy are these: she is an experienced parish priest; she was chosen because those who have worked closely with her have discerned her gifts for episcopacy; and she has experience of being part of a diocesan senior staff team. I am actually delighted by this, and that the first consecration was not one of the Ruth Gledhill sweep stake hot tips(Winkett, Hedges, Osborne, Grenfall and so on). In fact, I detect something of the Welby/Sentamu strategy coming to fruition here, if you think about it. The last thing either of them… Read more »

Peter Mullins
Guest
Peter Mullins

The Bishop of Chester’s public account available on the diocesan website is: “Last summer we took a decision not to delay the appointment until female candidates could be considered, partly because of uncertainty about when the necessary Canon would be promulged. After a very careful search, we invited three priests to meet in September with me and my advisory group. To our surprise, although they were a talented group, none of the candidates were judged to be quite right for this post. Reviewing the situation, it was then clear that the Canon to permit the admission of women to the… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Thank you for the correction, Editor!

David Gibson
Guest
David Gibson

Like James A I, too, am delighted that a woman who has faithfully served at the coal-face of several Northern parishes, who has not been grasping a BBC microphone at every available opportunity for the past two decades, and who has manifestly not been positioning herself for the purple, was the first woman to be made a bishop. The Bishop of Chester and his senior colleagues are to be congratulated for such wise discernment and for setting an example for the future. But… oh… that sermon! Yes, please (in response to Tom Marhsall) much more discernment in that direction for… Read more »

Stan Shaw
Guest
Stan Shaw

So she is an experienced parish priest. I think that the CofE may have an ample supply of those. I do not see it as a sufficient qualification. Those who have worked with her have discerned her gifts. Great. I am not saying that she does not have gifts to be discerned just that it would be nice if someone let us know what was discerned? As for the Ruth Gledhill “sweepstake” the fact that it exists merely evidences that there were other possibilities. It would be good and I think helpful to her to hear someone (anyone) discuss their… Read more »

Simon R
Guest
Simon R

Re the sermon. Agreed. It was a perfect example of ‘Members of the Club talking to Members of the Club’ – and for far, far too long. But… this may be a preview of the new cloned, corporate and managerial C of E. Let’s hope the Archbishop of York takes his public role – and the public character of the Church – more seriously when he preaches next Monday in York Minster. Unfortunately, I suspect the BBC will not be providing live streaming for Fr North’s consecration.

Charles Read
Guest
Charles Read

Sorry but I thought sermon was brilliant – as did just about everyone I spoke to after the service. Responses to preaching are pretty subjective so we may have to agree to differ. However, Sarah did provide theological depth in an accessible way in my view. (And it was about the same length as other consecration sermons I’ve heard). Using the midwife image of God (very Biblical…) was apt and she did what I think Libby might have hoped she’s do -shift the focus away from Libby and onto what God is doing (through Libby). A sermon is not a… Read more »

James A
Guest
James A

Sorry, @Stan Shaw. This is the Diocese of Chester we are talking about. Hell would freeze over before Jeffrey John would be appointed to anything – let alone a Suffragan See – in that Evangelical-majority stronghold.

Peter Mullins
Guest
Peter Mullins

When the incumbents of Cromer, Heswall and St Pancras were announced to be the future Bishops of Grimsby, Huddersfield and Burnley (to take a few recent examples almost at random), nobody was suggesting that it was odd that their CVs and aptitude weren’t being publically ranked against those of other theoretical candidates, so I’m not sure where the suggestion is coming from that the appointment as Bishop of a parish priest already chosen by her peers to be one of a handful of additional female observing member of the House of Bishops should be discussed in those terms.

Henry Dee
Guest
Henry Dee

I’d say that with the exception of the ‘plant pot’ interrupting, the day went very well. You have to wonder though when it gets to the third or fourth women bishop; will they be remembered once the media circus has moved on? How many people now remember the astronauts names of the third moon landing?.When a previous commentator described Bishops Libby’s attributes, then it would also describe Fr North. One thing that did jar me with the coverage was when it referred to Fr North as ‘hardline’. A decent, caring and dedicated man – which we all can agree with,… Read more »

Mark Wharton
Guest
Mark Wharton

Just out of interest why in anglican ordinations are bishops not given mitres?

David Runcorn
Guest
David Runcorn

Stan You write – ‘it would be nice if someone let us know what was discerned’. ‘Us’ being ‘who’? – the rest of the church? Everyone? Why? It’s not our job. There are careful processes and people charged with working through them. I am grateful to those who do. I don’t expect to be invited to sit in judgment over how that works or what is decided. I am not qualified to be either in ay case. Bishop Libby was publicly announced and commended – as all bishops have been before her. Not sure why you expect more now than… Read more »

Laurie
Guest
Laurie

This thread needs to avoid sexism.

We can find that elsewhere aplenty.

Gareth P
Guest
Gareth P

Oh come on, @Charles Read. It was an absolute travesty. Never before have I heard such self-indulgence and cringe-making froth. If you need your theology to be simplified to that degree, it’s probably time to resurrect Enid Blyton. We have excellent women theologians in the UK (already mentioned in this thread) and, when you consider this consecration was being streamed across the world, I am, frankly, ashamed that an opportunity to offer an intelligent, humane and rigorous account of Christian tradition, aimed at the millions who were tuning in, was abused by a senior cleric who seemed to have little… Read more »

Anne
Guest
Anne

Does anyone know how to ‘watch again’ the consecration on the BBC News Channel?

robertian williams
Guest
robertian williams

Mark..no Church of England bishop wore a mitre until the 1880s.Then it was a minority for at least another fifty years. Wallace Benn was the last bishop to refuse to wear a mitre.Indeed in the Church of Ireland only two have recently done so since 2000.

Malcolm Dixon
Guest
Malcolm Dixon

Further to Mark’s question about mitres, I was wondering why Libby Lane was wearing a black chimere, when all her fellow bishops, including the women bishops from elsewhere in the Anglican Communion, were wearing red. Surely the church’s wish should be to emphasise that +Lane is absolutely equivalent to all her fellow bishops, and having her differently attired doesn’t seem like a good idea.
I have seen consecration rites in which the chimere is put on only after the anointing and laying on of hands, and I can see the symbolic sense in that.

Peter Mullins
Guest
Peter Mullins

“Just out of interest why in anglican ordinations are bishops not given mitres?”

I think the customary dress at CofE ordinations of Bishops has not changed over a couple of hundred years and dates back to the time before CofE Bishops took to wearing mitres.

William Richards
Guest
William Richards

@Gareth P: Quite. What Orthodox and Roman Catholic observers must have made of it, I cannot begin to imagine. It was an excellent example of how to trivialise and domesticate something of universal significance. Here was an opportunity for the Church of England to speak to the whole Oecumene about our understanding of episcope, and how what we did last Monday is a legitimate and faithful development of catholic faith and order. Obviously, this is not something Monday’s preacher considered to be remotely important. No wonder others in this thread are asking if this is the tone of what is… Read more »

Father David
Guest
Father David

Why do bishops at their consecration in the Southern Province wear red chimeres while those being consecrated to serve in the Northern Province wear black chimeres at their consecration?

Perry Butler
Guest
Perry Butler

Black chimeres were always the norm at consecrations tho I think there have been one or two in the southern province where the new bishop has worn red….Of courses red chimere really presumes a doctorate…which most bishops don’t have ( tho until the 1960s I think, every new bishop was given a doctorate by their university on assuming office)I notice that when +Justin comes to evensong in Canterbury he wears black ( and a black rather than purple shirt) At a recent ordination where all were in red) he said to a bishop who had a doctorate ” You’re one… Read more »

RPNewark
Guest
RPNewark

Malcolm Dixon: “I was wondering why Libby Lane was wearing a black chimere ….”

This would appear to be a provincial custom. Examination of the pictures of the consecrations that took place in 2014 shows that in the Northern Province all the consecrands wore black chimeres while in the Southern Province all wore red ones.

I don’t think there was any attempt, intentional or otherwise, to single out +Libby. She simply followed all who went before her in that place.

cseitz
Guest
cseitz

Mitre-free Bishops — also the norm in TEC in mid century last and up to the 60s. Have a look at old pictures.

Daniel Lamont
Guest
Daniel Lamont

Traditionally, bishops holding earned doctorates wear a red chimere and those who do not wear a black one. Neither Libby Lane nor ++Justin have doctorates and so they wear black chimeres.

Simon Sarmiento
Guest

Perry the Province of Canterbury no longer observes that custom. Scarlet all around at the last one I attended.

Daniel sadly I have seen many a bishop without a doctorate wearing scarlet.

Father Ron Smith
Guest

“Let’s hope the Archbishop of York takes his public role – and the public character of the Church – more seriously when he preaches next Monday in York Minster. Unfortunately, I suspect the BBC will not be providing live streaming for Fr North’s consecration”. – Posted by: Simon R on Tuesday – Now, with F.i.F.’s problems about bishops who have taken part in the ordination of women bishops; is it true that the ABY (who has already done this) is going to be allowed by F.i.F. to actually preach at Fr. North’s episcopal ordination? One might have thought that even… Read more »

Anthony Archer
Guest
Anthony Archer

“I am not saying she does not have the gifts to be discerned just that it would be nice if someone let us know what was discerned.” @Stan Shaw – It is a cardinal principle of appointments that there should be openness and transparency of process, coupled with confidentiality of deliberation. I did not see the role specification for the new Bishop of Stockport but is reasonable to make some obvious assumptions about what the Bishop of Chester wanted. He would have convened a small advisory group and solicited candidates, both through advertisement and by consulting widely. Names would have… Read more »

Tim Chesterton
Guest

Apparently the custom was different in Thomas Cranmer’s day (and he had a DD). I kinda miss those natty little caps the Tudor bishops used to wear, though! Way more stylish than mitres!

comment image

Tim Chesterton
Guest

Sorry, I linked to the wrong image in the previous post. The natty little cap is more visible in this one.

comment image

Father David
Guest
Father David

We know that the Archbishop of York will preach the gospel at Fr. Philip’s consecration on Monday but, as far as I am aware, we do not yet know the identity of the Chief Consecrator! I wonder who Ebor has nominated in his stead to perform this sacred task?

Martin Reynolds
Guest
Martin Reynolds

Yet in Parliament these convocational robes are forever black, doctorate or no!
https://www.churchofengland.org/our-views/the-church-in-parliament/bishops-in-the-house-of-lords.aspx
As I understand it, This woman, as things stand, will not be eligible to wear any colour garment in the Lords as the new legislation only fast tracks diocesan bishops.

David Runcorn
Guest
David Runcorn

Anthony Thank you for a very helpful, shrewd and positive summary of the process.

Malcolm Dixon
Guest
Malcolm Dixon

Thanks to all those who have answered my question about the colour of chimeres. Despite ++Justin’s reported views on the subject, I note that he too was wearing a red chimere on Monday!

peter kettle
Guest

Chief Consecrator next Monday? What about Bp London? He wasn’t there this last week, he is Philip North’s current Diocesan, and he has never ordained a woman priest (nor a man, for that matter.) And he is after all, number three in the hierarchy after Cantuar and Ebor. Just a question of not being from the northern province….

Father David
Guest
Father David

But as a sign of priestly humility the ABC more often than not wears a black shirt rather than an imperial and regal purple shirt. I see from the York Minster website that the Bishop of Chichester will be the Chief Celebrant on February 2nd. The ABY has had to go all the way to the South Coast of England to secure a serving diocesan to stand in his stead, as there isn’t a single a Traditionalist Diocesan Bishop left in the whole of the Northern Province. Nevertheless, this is a good choice for + Martin to take on the… Read more »

Andrew
Guest
Andrew

There’s no doubt the appointment was made predominantly on merit. That’s not to say other factors weren’t taken into consideration. Given that the Bishop of Chester was one of the signatories of the letter blocking Jeffrey John’s appointment in 2003 and has also endorsed gay ‘cure’ therapies, it was never likely that someone with outspoken pro-gay views would have been appointed, regardless of gender. As one of the observers, we assume, during the time of the HoB’s meeting last year to consider their Valentine day statement, her views may have been made known. That doesn’t mean she agreed with it,… Read more »