Derby

Libby Lane: First female bishop starts new role as Bishop of Derby

The Right Reverend Libby Lane has been officially appointed as the Bishop of Derby during a traditional ceremony Image copyright Derbyshire High Sheriff
Image caption The Right Reverend Libby Lane replaces the Right Reverend Dr Alastair Redfern, who retired in August

England's first-ever female bishop has been officially appointed as the Bishop of Derby.

The Right Reverend Libby Lane, who is the eighth Bishop of Derby, was installed at the city's cathedral during a ceremony.

The service included ancient traditions such as anointing Bishop Lane with oil, and she sat in the cathedra - the bishop's seat - for the first time.

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

Image copyright PA
Image caption Bishop Lane 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.

Image copyright Chris Calverley
Image caption During the traditional ceremony Bishop Lane banged on the cathedral doors three times with her crozier

Hundreds of people gathered to witness the service, which including other traditions, including garlanding her with flowers, and presenting her with the pastoral staff - a bishop's crozier.

The doors of Derby Cathedral were closed before the service and - following tradition - Bishop Lane banged on the door three times with her crozier.

When the service finished, she stood outside to bless the city of Derby, the county of Derbyshire and the Diocese of Derby.

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

Image caption Bishop Lane walked through Derby city greeting people before the service

Derby Cathedral's Reverend Richard Andrews said it was 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."

Image caption Reverend Dr Elizabeth Thomas believes Bishop Lane will be "pragmatic and unexpected" in her new role

Reverend Dr Elizabeth Thomas, Sub Dean at Derby Cathedral, believes she will be "hands on, pragmatic, imaginative and unexpected" in her new role.

Prior to the service, Bishop Lane walked through the city greeting people.

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

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