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The Rt Revd Libby Lane consecrated at York Minster

The Rt Revd Libby Lane consecrated at York Minster

The Church of England and several news agencies report that Bishop Lane was consecrated before a congregation of nearly 2000, with more than 100 bishops in attendance.

The sermon, by the archdeacon of York Sarah Bullock, likened the service of Bishop Lane to the humble work and sensitive character of Nurse Cynthia Miller, from BBC1’s Call the Midwife.

The BBC has video footage of the laying on of hands and the assent, photos from York Minster, and analysis of the event, in their story Libby Lane: First female Church of England bishop consecrated.

The BBC and the Guardian report that one voice of dissent called out when Dr John Sentamu, archbishop of York, asked for the assent of the congregation. The dissenter was later revealed to be the Rev Paul Williamson, a vocal opponent of the ordination of women.

From the Guardian:

The congregation was asked to assent to Bishop Lane’s consecration. As the congregation of nearly 2,000 people replied “It is”, a man stepped forward near the altar and shouted: “No. Not in my name. Not in the Bible. With respect, your grace, I ask to speak on this absolute impediment, please.”

Sentamu read a long legal justification for his acts. He asked the congregation again and their consent was still louder and this time unanimous.

The Church of England has issued a press release with statements from Bishop Lane, and links again to the short interview they filmed after they announced her consecration. (Youtube with video – Soundcloud audio-only version)

Bishop Lane places herself in the history and traditions of the Church, linking her ministry to the ancient church.

From the press release:

“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.


Thinking Anglicans released a round-up of coverage, noting that much of it focused on the lone voice of dissent.

Did you read any particularly good coverage of the consecration, or find less well-known sources of information? Please share with us in the comments.


Posted by David Streever


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Paul Brockbank

My apologies for the spelling errors, I am not a great typist.

Paul Brockbank

Thank you for your comments Amanda, I assume that anyone who disagrees with you must be incorrect. Thank you for calling me latitudinarian

latitudinarian – adjective
allowing latitude, especially in religion; showing no preference among varying creeds and forms of worship.

I do, indeed, show no preference; but I also show now acceptance of a creed misusing the Biblical guidance to assert their structural name badges. We are all equal, all equally able to pray & forgive no mater what genitalia we have.
Perhaps all I needed to say was:
The interruption from Paul Williamson was badly put, badly timed, out dated and ill informed.

Amanda Clark

Oh come now, 1 Timothy isn’t in the liberal mainline Protestant New Testament? I agree with you in spirit, but so many liberal Anglicans seem to want to do away with the uniqueness of their episcopate.

Amanda Clark

Well, I was thinking in terms of the op whom I had responded to-he seemed to think (oddly for an Anglican I assume) that bishops weren’t in the Bible, it seemed like he was trying too hard to prove his point by sheer latitudinarianism (how many times do I get to use that word?).

Paul Brockbank

The dissenter, Rev Paul Williamson, claimed “No. Not in my name. Not in the Bible…” Well here’s some breaking news – There is no mention of any bishop in the Bible, or other omitted ancient manuscripts, male or otherwise. In the matter of church (with the smallest ‘c’ possible) we read that it is a reference to a home gathering of 2 or 3 people (not just men) gathering in His name. Nothing to do with buildings, hierarchies, and certainly nothing to do with the hypocrisy of a bishop’s palace. Such distance some people have wandered from the simplicity of the strong guidance left to us by the followers Jesus.

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