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Reverend Libby Lane is the first female bishop in the history of England. The Church of England named Rev. Elizabeth Lane the first English female bishop, a month after the church changed the canon law in order to allow female bishops to be chosen.
Rev. Libby Lane will begin to serve as the Bishop of Stockport starting with January 26 and will also be an assistant bishop in the Diocese of Chester.
The Church of England allowed female priests for the first time in 1992 and soon after, the battle for female bishops began. Female bishops are allowed in other Anglican churches in countries like Australia, Canada and the United States, but the Church of England did not allow female bishops before, saying that only men have the right to be bishops, arguing that it says so in the Bible. Other argued that it is both ethical and necessary to have female bishops in order to keep church modern and relevant.
The General Synod, which is the church’s legislative body voted to allow female bishops and agreed to change the canon law in November.
The first female bishop of England, Libby Lane was ordained as a deacon in 1993 and in 1994 she was named a priest. She studied at the University of Oxford and was trained for ministry the a theological college called Cranmer Hall.
Since 2010 Rev. Libby Lane has been the Dean of Women in the Ministry for the diocese of Chester. This was a post created to help and support the other women in the Church of England. Since 2003 Rev. Lane was the bishop’s selection advisor and her job was to make recommend the church candidates who offered themselves for ordination.
The first English female bishop spoke on Wednesday at the town hall in Stockport saying that it’s a remarkable day for both her and the Church of England.
Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, has been supporting the push that allows women to be bishops. He said of the newly elected Rev. Lane that she is will make a wonderful bishop, praising her belief in God and her humane qualities.
Image Source: telegraph.co.uk