Bishops and Dean travel from Salisbury to York for historic consecration of the Church of England’s first woman bishop
Speaking from York where he took part in the consecration of the Church of England’s first woman bishop, Bishop Nicholas said he was celebrating a joyful and historic day.
The Right Revd Libby Lane, the new Bishop of Stockport, was consecrated today at York Minster, at a service as historic as the church it took place in.
Bishop Graham and Bishop Edward were also among those taking part in the consecration, as was former Bishop of Salisbury, the Right Revd Dr David Stancliffe. Dean of Salisbury, June Osborne, also attended the consecration service.
Bishop Nicholas said, “It was enormous privilege to be one of the Bishops who laid hands on Libby, and thereby to consecrate her a bishop.
“This was a historic occasion and a joyful one, surrounded by prayer and a very strong affirmation of women in ministry.
“I pay tribute to the decades of sacrifice and hard work which so many undertook to make today’s consecration possible. England is now the tenth country to have a female Anglican bishop.”
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.
“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.
“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.”
Watch this interview video with Bishop Libby from the morning her appointment was announced in December here.
Listen to an audio interview with Bishop Libby after her consecration here.