First female bishop set to start new job

Image copyright PA
Image caption The Right Reverend Libby Lane became the Church of England’s first female bishop in 2015

England’s first-ever female bishop is set to be officially appointed as the Bishop of Derby.

The Right Reverend Libby Lane, who will be the eighth Bishop of Derby, will be installed at the city’s cathedral during a ceremony.

The service will include traditions such as anointing Bishop Lane with oil, and she will sit in the cathedra – the bishop’s seat – for the first time.

She became the Church of England’s first female bishop in 2015.

Bishop Lane has occupied the post of the Suffragan Bishop of Stockport, in the Diocese of Chester, since 2015. Her new role in Derby is a more senior position.

The bishop, who is married with two children, made history after the General Synod voted to back plans for female bishops in July 2014, ending centuries of male church leadership.

Other traditions, which will be part of the service, include garlanding her with flowers, and presenting her with the pastoral staff (a bishop’s crozier).

Image copyright PA
Image caption Bishop Lane replaces the Right Reverend Dr Alastair Redfern, who retired in August

Bishop Lane said Derbyshire was a “place that holds my heart” since she grew up in Glossop and served in Chesterfield.

Derby Cathedral’s Reverend Richard Andrews said it would be a “wonderfully joyous occasion of celebration and prayer”.

He said: “But it is also a time for both Bishop Libby and the whole diocese to renew their commitment as we inaugurate a new phase of ministry in the Diocese of Derby.”

Prior to the service, Bishop Lane is due to arrive by train and walk through the city greeting people.

The cathedral doors will be closed before the service and – following tradition – she will bang on the door three times with her crozier.

When the service has finished, the bishop will stand outside to publicly bless the city of Derby, the county of Derbyshire and the Diocese of Derby.

Bishop Lane replaces the Right Reverend Dr Alastair Redfern, who retired in August.

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