I am grateful for, though somewhat daunted by, the confidence placed in me by the Diocese of Chester. This is unexpected and very exciting. On this historic day as the Church of England announces the first woman nominated to be Bishop, I am very conscious of all those who have gone before me, women and men, who for decades have looked forward to this moment. But most of all I am thankful to God.
The church faces wonderful opportunities, to proclaim afresh, in this generation, the Good News of Jesus and to build His Kingdom. The Church of England is called to serve all the people of this country, and being present in every community, we communicate our faith best when our lives build up the lives of others, especially the most vulnerable. I am excited by the possibilities and challenges ahead.
Over at The Guardian, Haroon Siddique has a short profile of Lane’s life in the clergy:
Libby Lane, who has been chosen by the Church of England as its first female bishop, has long been one of the most influential women in the church.
She is one of eight clergywomen from the church elected as participant observers in the House of Bishops, as the representative from the dioceses of the north-west, and has been a bishop’s selection adviser for 10 years, making recommendations to the church about candidates offering themselves for ordination.
Meanwhile, Alan Cowell at The New York Times highlights some of the divisions that the issue of female bishops has caused within the Anglican Communion:
The halting process toward her consecration reflected deep divisions between liberals and conservatives in the Church of England that are likely to be cemented rather than resolved by the move.
“Without prayer and repentance, it is hard to see how we can avoid some serious fractures,” said the Most Rev. Justin Welby, the archbishop of Canterbury, who backed the push for female bishops, after a final vote on the matter last month.
Read the Church of England’s full statement on Bishop Lane’s appointment here.