After turmoil, Church of England consecrates first woman bishop

Mon Jan 26, 2015 8:01am EST
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By Phil Noble

YORK, England (Reuters) - The Church of England consecrated its first woman bishop on Monday, the culmination of years of efforts by Church modernizers to overcome opposition from traditionalists - one of whom briefly shouted a protest during the service.

More than two decades after the Church allowed women to become priests, 48-year-old mother-of-two the Reverend Libby Lane became Bishop of Stockport in a ceremony at York Minster, a Gothic cathedral in northern England.

The protest came as John Sentamu, Archbishop of York, asked the congregation whether Lane should be consecrated as Bishop.

As the congregation chorused its approval, a lone man's voice shouted above them: "No, not in the Bible."

When Sentamu asked the question again, there was no dissent and the ceremony went ahead.

During the service, which ended in applause, Sentamu and other bishops ceremonially laid their hands on Lane and prayed for her.

Earlier, Lane had spoken of what she hoped her consecration would achieve for women.

"If my appointment encourages a single young woman to lift her eyes up a bit and to realize that she has capacity and potential and that her environment or those around her don't need to dictate what is possible for her, then I'd be really honored" she said in an interview published by the Church.   Continued...

Libby Lane, a suffragan (Assistant) bishop in the Diocese of Chester, poses for photographers after her forthcoming appointment as the new Bishop of Stockport was announced earlier in the day, in the YMCA in Crewe, northern England December 17, 2014. On her appointment, Lane will become the Church of England's first female bishop. REUTERS/Phil Noble