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Reverend Libby Lane appointed as first female bishop of the Church of England

Dec 18, 2014 11:14 IST

Reverend Libby Lane was on 17 December 2014 appointed as the first female bishop of the Church of England. She will become the new Bishop of Stockport, a post that was vacant since May 2014.

Libby will succeed the Reverend Robert Atwell, who is now the Bishop of Exeter. The nomination of Libby as the new Bishop of Stockport was approved by the Queen of England.

As Bishop of Stockport, she will serve as a suffragan (assistant) bishop in the Diocese of Chester. Presently, Lane is the vicar at St Peter's Hale and St Elizabeth's Ashley.

Lane will be consecrated as the eighth bishop of the town at a ceremony at York Minster on 26 January 2015. Her appointment will end centuries of male leadership of the Church.

Reverend Libby Lane
• 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 has been the vicar at St Peter's Hale and St Elizabeth's Ashley since 2007. Later in 2010, she became the Dean of Women in Ministry for the diocese since January 2010.
• Prior to moving to Hale, Libby was Team Vicar in the Stockport South West Team, and Assistant Diocesan Director of Ordinands in the Diocese of Chester.
• Libby has served in the Diocese of York as Chaplain in hospital and as Family Life Officer for the Committee for Social Responsibility in the Diocese of Chester.
• Her husband George is also a priest, they were one of the first married couples in the Church of England who were ordained together.

The Church of England supported the introduction of female priests in 1992 and the first female bishops were appointed two years later. However, till date women have not been able to take on the Church's most senior roles.

The historic appointment comes just after the Church of England’s ruling General Synod formally enacted a change to Canon Law by opening the episcopate for the women for first time.

The law opened the way for the first woman to be appointed to the episcopate as early as before 2015.

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