Libby Lane consecration report


undefinedBishop Libby Lane is PICTURED with Phillip North, the new Bishop of Burnley, on the day of his consecration at York Minister on Monday 2 February. Archbishop John Sentamu who presided and preached at the consecration service is also in the photograph. The event came just a week after Libby Lane was consecrated at the Minister as the first woman bishop in the history of the Church of England.

Bishop Libby gave Bishop Phillip a hug on the day of his own consecration - pictured below ...

Bishop Phillip was until recently Team Rector of the parish of Old St Pancras – a  large inner city parish in the Camden area of north London. The consecration part of the service in which he was made bishop at York was conducted by the Bishop of Chichester, assisted by the Bishops of Pontefract and Beverley.

The Rt Revd Libby Lane will be installed as Bishop of Stockport in a ceremony to be held on Sunday 8 March at Chester Cathedral, starting at 3.30pm. It will be a fully ticketed service. Parishioners wishing to attend, who have so far not applied through their parish, should email

There is a full report of Bishop Libby’s consecration service at York in the current Church Times newspaper (dated 30 January 2015) plus an interview with her by journalist Gavin Drake. In the interview, Bishop Libby says that from very early on she felt that the least she could do with her life was “to offer it back to Christ in response to what he has given for me …”

An edited video of the consecration service of Bishop Libby is now available on the BBC website

The laying on of hands – during the consecration of Libby Lane

Bishop Libby received a Bible from Archbishop Sentamu before being welcomed by the Bishop of Chester. At the end of the service she was given a pastoral staff and went in procession outside the minster where she was photographed and filmed by various media. 

The consecration was filmed by the major British broadcasters and shown on lunchtime news programmes across the various networks, including BBC, Sky News and ITV. The historic event was covered by media from around the word.

Libby, who had been Vicar of St Peter’s, Hale, and St Elizabeth’s, Ashley (near Altrincham) since 2007, is now the eighth Bishop of Stockport.

Bishop Libby Lane (centre) at her consecration with friends from the Diocese of Chester, including George Colville (Diocesan Secretary), Canon Betty Renshaw (Chairman of the Diocesan Board of Finance), Ian Bishop (Archdeacon of Macclesfield) Michael Gilbertson (Archdeacon of Chester), Margaret Andrews (PA to Bishop Libby), Ian Rumsey and Richard Burton (Parish Development Officers) and Gordon McPhate (Dean of Chester)

Aged 48, Libby is married to the Revd George Lane, 46, who is the co-ordinating chaplain at Manchester Airport. They have two adult children.

Bishop Libby 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 expectations. 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 was not really about me. With echoes of practice which has been in place for hundreds of years in the church, it was 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.”

The Rt Revd Dr Peter Forster, Bishop of Chester, said: “The announcement of Libby Lane’s designation as Bishop of Stockport was greeted with much appreciation. 

“As she now takes up her episcopal ministry, I am conscious of the pressures and expectations on her, and I am completely confident that she will meet these and be an outstanding bishop.”

Libby’s ministry in our diocese has included her being, at various times: Dean of Women in Ministry; Team Vicar in the Stockport South West Team; Family Life Officer for the Committee for Social Responsibility; and Assistant Diocesan Director of Ordinands.

After school in Manchester and University at Oxford, Libby trained for ministry at Cranmer Hall in Durham. She was ordained a deacon in 1993 and a priest in 1994, serving her curacy in Blackburn, Lancashire. Libby has also served in the Diocese of York, as Chaplain in hospital and further education.

The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu said: “Today, in York Minster, history has been made. Libby Lane, who was already a priest in the Church, is the first woman in the Church of England to be made a bishop.  It is a momentous occasion: a solemn act of worship and a jubilant celebration. I was thrilled to be presiding at the service.  Jesus Christ calls ordinary people like you and me to serve him joyfully and confidently. We are simply called to serve.”

The consecration service was followed by a reception and lunch for more than 200 guests hosted by Bishop Peter at the Royal York Hotel. As Bishop Libby was introduced to guests, Bishop Peter led everyone in singing a resounding version of an old favourite  ... 'For She's A Jolly Good Bishop!'.

See a video filmed on the day it was announced that Libby was to be the next Bishop of Stockport ...