Flourishing together

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undefinedBishop of Stockport, Libby Lane and Bishop of Burnley, Philip North, who now meet together regularly for prayer and mutual support, have been invited to a unique event at Manchester Cathedral, at which they will be asked to reflect on their personal journeys and hopes for the future.

Soon after the decision was taken at the Church of England’s General Synod in favour of women bishops, Bishop  Libby and Bishop Philip  were consecrated in two services at York Minster which embodied the essence of the settlement.

Both attended one another's consecrations and the picture from Bishop Philip’s consecration showing him embracing Bishop Libby came to symbolise the moment; clearly demonstrating the Church of England's commitment to mutual flourishing.

The event ‘Flourishing Together’ has been organised by The Society (formerly Forward in Faith) and the Women’s Clergy Chapters in Manchester Diocese.
Commenting on the event Bishop Philip said today: “I am delighted to have the opportunity to speak at this event alongside my episcopal colleague Bishop Libby.
“Our consecrations offered a very visible sign that the Church is moving forward, having sought and found space for those in favour and those against the ordination of women to live and flourish together.
“As the Archbishop of York, The Most Rev. Dr John Sentamu, said at the time, our two consecrations ‘show the church living out its pledges in new confidence and with love and respect for all’.
“Since then, as Bishop of Burnley, I have sought to care for, love and support all churches in the Diocese of Blackburn, regardless of their theological tradition.”
 

Bishop Libby added: “I was honoured that Philip, and other Bishops of the Church of England who could not in conscience consecrate but who wanted to live out their commitment to ‘mutual flourishing’, chose to be present at my consecration.
“To participate a week later, with the College, to affirm Philip’s vocation and pray for him as he was consecrated, was very significant and moving. The support and friendship we have since come to share is valuable to me.
“I am encouraged by the welcome I have received from clergy and churches across all traditions in the Diocese of Chester, and the commitment to constructive and productive engagement with one another. We are working out together what it means to be confident in Christ for the sake of the Gospel from a place of hope rather than fear.”

Flourishing Together takes place on June 9 at Manchester Cathedral from 10am – 2pm. The event is free but booking is essential. Lunch will be free. Please email Rev. Marcia Wall to book your place, indicating any special dietary or access requirements – revdmarciawall@hotmail.com

 

Listen to the Inrview on BBC Radio 4

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