Church of England’s first female bishop to become Bishop of Derby

Church of England’s first ever female bishop The Right Reverend Libby Lane is to become new Bishop of Derby

  • The Right Reverend Libby Lane is the Church of England’s first female bishop 
  • She has been Bishop of Stockport since 2015 and will become Bishop of Derby  
  • Bishop Lane reportedly said her priorities would include mental health  
  • Church allowed female bishops in 2014 after a vote by the General Synod 

Pictured: The Right Reverend Libby Lane

The first female bishop in the Church of England is to become the new Bishop of Derby, Downing Street has announced.

The Right Reverend Libby Lane has been Bishop of Stockport since 2015, after the General Synod of the Church of England voted to allow female bishops in 2014.

Bishop Lane, from Glossop in Derbyshire, was one of the first females ordained in 1994 after the Church reduced barriers to entry for women. 

Last month, during a service commemorating the centenary of women’s suffrage, she described how she had ‘very publicly had [her] life transformed by freedoms newly open to women not available previously’, the Church Times reported. 

She affirmed her commitment ‘to continue the struggle for women, and all who are disenfranchised, excluded, oppressed, or discriminated against, in our own communities and nation, and across the world’.

Bishop Lane is also a member of the ‘Bishops’ reflection group on sexuality’, which is to guide the Church of England’s debate on same-sex relations.     

She said today: ‘I am thrilled to have been appointed as the next Bishop of Derby.

‘I am excited about starting my ministry there and for getting to know all the people, places and parishes that will be a part of it.

Bishop Lane, from Glossop in Derbyshire, was one of the first females ordained in 1994 after the Church reduced barriers to entry for women (pictured at Chester Cathedral)


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‘I have had a wonderful time in the Diocese of Chester and I will miss it greatly. I won’t be leaving right away and hope to have time to properly say farewell before I take up my new post.’ 

The theologian, who is vice-chair of trustees at the Children’s Society, said her priorities when she joined the Bishops’ Bench next year would include mental health and the welfare of children and young people. 

The Church of England formally adopted legislation allowing female bishops in 2014, (pictured: Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby)

She will be taking over the Derby post from The Rt Revd Alastair Redfern, who had served as Bishop of Derby since 2005 as is a Lord Spiritual Member of the House of Lords since 2010.

He retired in August having given notice in 2017, writing: ‘It is an enormous privilege to be working with you in the Diocese and I hope that this early notice will give time for prayerful discernment of God’s call into the future.’

The Church of England formally adopted legislation allowing female bishops in 2014, 20 years after women priests were first ordained.  

An additional sentence was added to Canon 33, stating: ‘A man or a woman may be consecrated to the office of bishop.’ 

In August this year the Church of England’s statistics page tweeted: ‘30% of those in ordained ministry in 2017 were female, but 50.5% of those beginning training in 2017 were female.’

Last week Bishop Lane said she wanted to ‘lead a Church in Derbyshire where people find hope because they know they are loved by God in Christ; and I pray that hope sets us free to live our lives in ways that bring change for good.’ 

Bishop Lane, who earned her first degree in theology from Oxford, will be installed at Derby Cathedral after Easter. 

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