Rt Revd Libby Lane consecrated at York Minster

This afternoon, the Church of England issued the following Press Release

“Rt Revd Libby Lane consecrated at York Minster

26 January 2015

The Rt Revd Libby Lane has been consecrated as the first female bishop in the Church of England in a packed service at York Minster today attended by more than 100 bishops from the Church of England and women bishops from across the Anglican Communion.

In a statement shortly after being consecrated, 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. I’ve heard from people of all ages, women and men – people I have known for years, and people I have never met; people from down the road, and people from across the world.

“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.

“Thank you to all who are praying for me and partying with me today. 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.”

ENDS”

Notes: A video interview with Bishop Libby from the day of her appointment is available here and an audio interview is also available here.

Comment

A summary of the Press Comments is available on the CofE’s Daily Media Digest on 27 January. Thinking Anglicans York Minster, IMG_4461suggests that some of them give undue prominence to the lone protester, The Rev Paul Williamson. Those who can recall R v Attorney-General ex parte Reverend Paul Stewart Williamson [1997] EWHC Admin 691 or Andrew Brown’s piece for The Independent in 1997 will know that we have been there before. Today the BBC reported “A Church of England spokesman said of Mr Williamson, priest in charge of a church in Hanworth, Middlesex: ‘He’s got the right to protest but the contrast was between a lone voice protesting and a sea of voices affirming.’”

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