First female bishop named as the Reverend Libby Lane

Last updated at 10:58
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Libby Lane said she was "honoured and thankful" to be chosen

The Reverend Libby Lane has been announced as the first female bishop for the Church of England, just a month after a historic change to church law.

She will become the new Bishop of Stockport.

The Church's ruling body, the general synod, voted to allow women to become bishops in July.

The appointment will end centuries of male leadership of the Church and comes 20 years after women became priests.

'Unexpected and exciting'

Mrs Lane said: "It is a remarkable day for me and an historic day for the Church.

Rev Libby LaneSt Peter's Hale
Mrs Lane is a Manchester United fan, according to her church website

"This is unexpected and very exciting. On this historic day as the Church of England announces the first woman nominated to be bishop, I am very conscious of all those who have gone before me, women and men, who for decades have looked forward to this moment. But most of all I am thankful to God."

While priests are normally in charge of a church, a bishop is in charge of a large area like a county - called a diocese - with hundreds of churches.

Divisions remain

Some people within the church are against the change because they say tradition dictates that only men should hold the most senior positions.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin WelbyPA
The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby supports having women bishops

But supporters say there is no reason that women shouldn't be in the Church's positions of power.

Churches in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland already allow women as bishops, but haven't appointed one yet.