Thinking Anglicans

Libby Lane to be next Bishop of Derby

Press release from Number 10

Queen approves nomination of Bishop of Derby
The Queen has approved the nomination of The Right Reverend Elizabeth (Libby) Jane Holden Lane for election as Bishop of Derby.

Published 18 December 2018
From: Prime Minister’s Office, 10 Downing Street

The Queen has approved the nomination of The Right Reverend Elizabeth (Libby) Jane Holden Lane, MA (Oxon), Suffragan Bishop of Stockport, for election as Bishop of Derby in succession to The Right Reverend Alastair Llewellyn John Redfern, MA, PhD, following his resignation on the 31st August 2018.

More details are on the Derby diocesan website: Bishop Libby Lane named as next Bishop of Derby.

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Will Richards
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Will Richards

Obviously Oliver O’Donovan’s report on episcopal appointments is having a decisive impact on the CNC. Not.

Janet Fife
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Janet Fife

This is good news and I hope Libby will have a very happy ministry in Derby; and that the diocese will prosper under her leadership. I know this is a side issue, but I note she says, “I want to lead a church in Derbyshire where people find hope because they know they are loved by God in Christ, and I pray that hope sets us free to live our lives in ways that bring change for good.” Which is undoubtedly a good aim to have. However, the phrase ‘by God in Christ’ (or through God in Christ, or whatever)… Read more »

Stanley Monkhouse
Guest

Indeed. There are a number of jargon phrases that make no sense to me, or that sound sanctimonious. What do they sound like to the unchurched? “in the unity of the Holy Spirit” seems to me to contradict trinitrian doctrine. We “seek to …” is pure Hyacinth Bucket. An interesting comment from a Derbyshire clergyman: “I read Lane’s plans for the diocese and my heart is already sinking at all the bxxxxy initiatives that will be dumped on us”. Concerning mutual flourishing, it’ll be interesting to see what happens with both bishops female. Under the last administration, four benefices “rescinded”… Read more »

David Richards
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David Richards

Not exactly an auspicious sign that mutual flourishing can be proactively nurtured in Derby Diocese!

Peter Capon
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Peter Capon

Why on earth not? Libby Lane and Philip North have shared platforms, for example here in Manchester, and together promoted mutual flourishing.

Father David
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Father David

I suppose that the new Derby will leapfrog Blackburn, Manchester, Bath and Wells et al into the House of Lords. Still, it is the season when we sing about Lords a leaping! Derby will now join up with London, Newcastle, Gloucester and Bristol thus becoming FIVE FEMALE EPISCOPAL RINGS in the Upper House.

Rowland Wateridge
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Rowland Wateridge

No leapfrogging in the case of the Bishop of London, nor did she join any queue. She is there as of right by virtue of her office.

Charles Read
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Charles Read

With regard to comments about ‘mutual flourishing’ – nobody moans about dioceses like mine with an entirely male episcopal line up. We always said that when a diocese had a totally female team of bishops people would make these kind of complaints! Better to look instead to the qualities of the person appointed. And yes, she will go straight to the Lords as the Church decided when we set up the process for having women bishops.

T Pott
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T Pott

I don’t think she will go straight to the Lords. There is no vacancy. As Father David says she will leap frog gentlemen bishops to the front of the queue, but will not displace any male bishop already in the Lords. I think Bishop Forster of Chester is due to retire early in 2020 so she will be in the Lords by then, unless a sooner vacancy arises.

This was a decision of Parliament rather than the Church, per se, and applies to any vacancy other than Canterbury, York, London, Durham and Winchester, until 2025.

Anthony Archer
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Anthony Archer

The Church played a significant part in the debates in the House of Lords on this time-limited provision, especially ++Rowan. Indeed he asked for the amendment to the Bishoprics Act 1878. It was never possible for the General Synod to legislate by Measure on the point (otherwise it could have added it to the Bishops and Priests (Consecration and Ordination of Women) Measure 2014), as it had to do with writs of summons (ask a parliamentary counsel!). As T Pott states, the Lords Spiritual (Women) Act 2015 provides that, for a period of 10 years from May 2015, in the… Read more »

Simon Kershaw
Admin

Norwich (Graham James) has already finished his public ministry and will retire “in early 2019”. https://www.dioceseofnorwich.org/article?id=3728. Since Bishop Libby will not be enthroned until after Easter, she probably will go straight to the Lords. I guess it depends on when her election to Derby is confirmed.

Father Michael
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Father Michael

Graham James retires on 28 Feb 2019, then just need to get the election by the college of Canons plus the confirmation done by then for her to take his seat. Once she is legally the new bishop (not enthroned) she jumps to the front of the queue.

Alan Davies
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Alan Davies

Just another predictable episcopal appointment that meets the internal needs of the Church, complete with the in-house jargon that goes with it. No likelihood of Bishop Lane going off message if her initial pronouncements are anything to go by. If I served in the Derby Diocese, I think I’d kick my shoes off, pour myself a stiff whisky and, echoing Pope John XXIII: ‘Look, God, it’s your Church and your problem. I’m going to bed.’

Janet Fife
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Janet Fife

There was never any chance that the first woman to be made a bishop would ever go off message. Or the first fifty women. They were always going to appoint women who didn’t rock the boat. Come to think of it, that’s how they appoint all bishops nowadays – that’s what the ‘training stream’ is for.

Tim Chesterton
Guest

I appreciate the regular posts we get about episcopal appointments in England. However, there are quite a few of us that visit TA from other provinces. Any chance that we might get the occasional post about episcopal elections elsewhere? I recognize that the moderators are all from the C of E, but maybe we could have ‘visiting correspondents’??? Just musing, ignore me if I’m just being annoying!

Keith Battarbee
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Keith Battarbee

The place that regularly takes note of episcopal appointments all round the Communion is Anglicans Online’s News Centre.

Kate
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Kate

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/libby-lane-we-are-the-churchs-new-normal-says-britains-first-female-bishop-a6829251.html?amp – Independent newspaper, 2016 I can’t respect a female Bishop who speaks to newspapers about how women are now becoming bishops but won’t publicly support same sex marriage. However you look at it, elevation to bishop is an elite event affecting few people; same sex marriage affects thousands. Her sense of priorities is wrong. She said, on the subject “It took decades for the Church to come to [accept] the ordination of women.” I am sorry but I don’t believe that someone who responds to the issue of same sex marriage with such cavalier disregard for the real and… Read more »

Simon Kershaw
Admin

There is no ability in current legislation for a bishop to “decline the opportunity to be seated in the Lords”. Bishop Libby will go to the top of the queue as soon as her election to the see of Derby is confirmed (unless a subsequent appointment manages to leapfrog hers). She will then receive a writ of summons the next time there is an episcopal vacancy in the Lords. I suppose that it would be theoretically possible for her to refuse to be introduced into the House, and to play no part in it. But I’m not sure what good… Read more »

Aviyah Levi
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Aviyah Levi

Thanks for the link to the Independent. I noted the comment about working ‘within an institution and being loyal’. In a year which marks the women’s suffrage movement which gave some women the right to vote but still excluded many others – men and women – this position would have failed to bring about the universal suffrage many men and women fought for. Maybe as long as you are on the inside it is not as important as the struggle is to those still struggling to simply be accepted as human beings on the outside. Being loyal is a good… Read more »

crs
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crs

Kate: I am curious. Are you saying that women’s ordination is seamless with same-sex marriage advocacy? Those who argued for women’s ordination did so on the basis of a reading of scripture that did not entail a reading of scripture in favor of marriage being redefined. Your point could be read to mean women’s ordination is a political gain which in its wake automatically brings same-sex marriage introduction. Libby Lane has never thought her ordination was secured on this plane.

Kate
Guest
Kate

The point I was making was that the elevation of women to be bishops affects a small elite group of women; same sex marriage affects thousands of people. The priority is clear.

But yes, theologically I also agree with the separate point you raise. On a strict reading of the OT and Epistles women shouldn’t be ordained and marriage should be between one man and one woman. In both cases, the decision to support equality is based on the principles within the Gospel message of Jesus. The theology is identical.

CRS
Guest
CRS

With respect, this is exactly where Libby Lane and others take another theological position. Hence your view being your own.

Kate
Guest
Kate

Such a view would look self-serving

Olivia
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Olivia

Why though? I confess I don’t get why women bishops supposedly bear this awesome responsibility to speak out on same-sex marriage (and presumably other justice issues?) or otherwise they are completely self-serving, while male bishops don’t. Why do you hold women to such a higher standard than men? Also, it may be hard to believe, but quite a lot of bishops oppose same-sex marriage for theological reasons. I don’t know Libby Lane’s views, but she might be one of them. Theological disagreement shouldn’t be about trying to shame people or call them self-serving for disagreeing with you. That sort of… Read more »

Kate
Guest
Kate

Because the Bible is even more clear that women should not be ministers – we should be silent in Church – than it is against same sex marriage. In each case there is a direct prohibition.

It is hypocritical for an ordained woman to believe that an exception applies to the ordination of women but not same sex marriage. It doesn’t apply to ordained men because they don’t need an exception – unless they are re-married after divorce.

crs
Guest
crs

This kind of thinking, Olivia, is I fear the new normal. “Because the Bible is even more clear that women should not be ministers” joined up with a Bible that pits Gospels against OT and Epistles, because the former = Love and the latter = non-Love.

What I want to know is just where this train finds its final destination. Shaming is one possibility you mention. The other is just echo chamber en route to no one left to turn the lights out.

Olivia
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Olivia

So because of one brief passage in the Pastoral Epistles (which most scholars think were not written by Paul but came from a later generation and display men trying to ‘order’ the church and shut down dissent), you would for eternity hold women to a higher standard than men and treat us differently?

This sounds more like a fundamentalist reading of Scripture to me than anything else. Do you think we have to repent extra hard and shouldn’t have pain relief in childbirth too, because of the sin of Eve?

Kate
Guest
Kate

I am not holding women to a higher standard. What I am saying is that any woman who chooses to be ordained has bought into a certain way of reading the Bible which consequentially also supports same sex marriage and the unrestricted acceptance of gender reassignment. Ordained women who do not support LGBTI people are therefore, I believe, being theologically hypocritical.

Other women are entitled to hold whatever theological views they wish but I don’t see how it is credible for a woman to accept ordination but deny same sex marriage.

Olivia
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Olivia

I disagree. Nobody, not the most fervent member of Reform, lives according to the letter of the entire New Testament, let alone the Bible as a whole. I see few calling for Christians to pool all their resources as the book of Acts says the early Church did, to give just one example. Don’t get me started on Jesus and divorce. So why single out women leaders (and, as Janet points out, the NT picture here isn’t exactly uncomplicated anyway)? Should any Christian not a member of the Communist party also by definition support equal marriage?

Kate
Guest
Kate

The ordination of women relies on theology that men and women should not be treated differently in a spiritual sense. But if there is no difference between men and women in a spiritual sense, then same sex marriage is as valid as an other marriage because men and women cannot be differentiated. And since we now understand that it is impossible to define men and women in a way which takes account of all of the diversity God created, then that makes sense.

Pooling of assets is totally different theology and is a total red-herring in this discussion.

CRS
Guest
CRS

The unifying theme may be baptism and the Holy Spirit imparted therein. But it isn’t some abstract men and women are the same spiritualism.

Janet Fife
Guest
Janet Fife

The Bible is not at all clear that women should not be ministers. Phoebe was a minister of the church at Cenchreae, June was ‘noted among the apostles’; Euodia and Syntyche ‘laboured in the gospel’ with Paul; Philip’s 4 daughters prophesied. In the OT, Deborah led the whole nation of Israel; Huldah was a prophet; God told Abraham to do what Sarah told him.

Kate
Guest
Kate

The Epistles are actually very clear.

But like Olivia you are also using false examples. Just because someone had the gift of prophecy that doesn’t mean that they are called to ordination. You are also mixing things like Biblical study and ministry in the community with the conduct of sacraments in church.

I agree with the ordination of women but it’s a nonsense to argue that a woman who accepts ordination isn’t being hypocritical if she opposes same sex marriage.

Janet Fife
Guest
Janet Fife

Kate, ordination in the form that is practised in the C of E didn’t exist in NT times. A number of ministries and church offices were recognised, including that of presbyter/overseer (overseer=bishop, and the term is used interchangeably with priest), deacon and widow; apostle, prophet (such as Philip’s daughters), pastor-teacher, evangelist, healer, administrator, and so on. It seems that people being set apart for these offices and ministries often received the laying on of hands, which evolved into ordination. This is what we glean from Acts and the epistles, but of course they weren’t written to provide a blueprint for… Read more »

Kate
Guest
Kate

“Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says.” – 1 Corinthians 14:34 How can a woman lead a service if she is to remain silent in church? And 1 Corinthians is generally regarded as securely attributed to St Paul which means he was clearly against women leading services. Yes, women should be ordained but it is grossly misleading to suggest that there are no countervailing theological arguments which must be overcome by suggesting that, in the present era at least, there should be no difference in… Read more »

Olivia
Guest
Olivia

Not all theological arguments against equal marriage, or against women’s ordination for that matter, are based on Scripture. Some oppose one or both on the grounds of ecumenical relations (for instance, that they hope for a reunification with Rome, which does not accept either), or of Christian tradition and doctrine (for instance, Catholic teaching on marriage or evangelical teaching on male headship, both of which would claim to be rooted in Scripture but both of which also go beyond it). You appear to be the only one who can see a ‘manifest inconsistency’ in women holding the same range of… Read more »

crs
Guest
crs

Roman Catholics of course would hold that their view of ordination is also grounded in scripture, and since Vatican II at least would hold scripture as prime authority grounding the Church’s teaching over time. Not far from the Anglican view.

Janet Fife
Guest
Janet Fife

All the epistles must be read in context. There are 2 points to make about that particular verse. First, some early churches modelled their seating on that of synagogues, where men and women sat separately. Women were usually behind a screen and didn’t feel part of what was going on, so used to chat among themselves. Sometimes they even called out questions to their husbands, who of course had been educated in the Torah. Obviously this was disruptive; Paul tells them to keep silence, listen, and if they want to ask their husband a question, to wait until they got… Read more »

Michael Mulhern
Guest
Michael Mulhern

I had lunch, yesterday, with a friend who is one of the first wave of women ordained to the priesthood in 1994. She was tearing her hair out about recent episcopal appointments, and made an interesting point. Whereas in the 1990s, there was a definite bias against Anglo Catholic candidates by bishops’ selectors, because they were said to be too ‘Churchy’; we now have a far more ‘Churchy’ cohort of clergy in the C of E – except that it is a different kind of ‘Churchy.’ They can all spout the in-house jargon, and excel at the ‘church talking to… Read more »

Stanley Monkhouse
Guest

I watched the clip of the bishop designate at Bolsover school (link from Derby diocese website). Why always with children? It perpetuates the widely held belief that Christianity is about being a “nice” sucky-rug, and is only for children and morons. There is the mandatory reference to football. And the gesticulations … what’s occurrin? I fantasize about what I would say in that situation. “I like teams where people know what their role is and they get on with it without interference from colleagues in the name of so-called collegiality. I hate team games, but liked rowing and like weightlifting.… Read more »

Charles Read
Guest
Charles Read

And for those who are carping about women diocesan jumping the queue into the Lords, do you know which male bishops are next in line?

Simon Kershaw
Admin

Which male bishops are next in line? Blackburn, then Manchester. TA’s Peter Owen maintains a table of bishops in the HoL and those waiting, here: http://peterowen.org.uk/articles/lordsspiritual.html

Father David
Guest
Father David

I look forward to the Bishop of Manchester entering the Lords – his frequent contributions to the Sunday programme on the wireless are always thoughtful and well worth hearing. The next Ebor perhaps? If Bishop David does go to York then he won’t have to queue nor be leapfrogged! Although the vacancy has been put on hold, thanks to the graciousness of our dear Queen, who gave an excellent Christmas message yesterday with much Christian content.

Father David
Guest
Father David

Not sure that I personally was “carping” – merely stating a fact in a seasonal way with a reference to the Twelve Days of Christmas.

Will Richards
Guest
Will Richards

At least the clergy in Derby have a year to wait until they get episcopal tweets badgering them for not putting their Christmas services on ACNY – tagged to the tasteless star, of course, or else you get removed!

dr.primrose
Guest
dr.primrose

“‘Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says.’ – 1 Corinthians 14:34 “How can a woman lead a service if she is to remain silent in church? And 1 Corinthians is generally regarded as securely attributed to St Paul which means he was clearly against women leading services.” This verse has been interpreted in a huge variety of ways. I give no citations but you easily find these (and many other)interpretations in various commentaries and web-searches. The strictest interpretation provides that, not only must not women… Read more »

Tobias Stanislas Haller
Guest

Thank you, Dr. P. It is also possible that this is a reference only to “wives” (the same word as “women” in Gk) as the text refers to “their husbands” in the next verse. This is not likely about women exercising a ministry of public proclamation (as the women prophets did) or prayer (as alluded to a few chapters earlier with reference to them having a head-covering). Context is all important and much is lost when verses are pried away from it.