‘If it’s in my lifetime, I will rejoice’ says Bishop Libby about woman Archbishop of Canterbury

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On the 25th anniversary of women priests in the Church of England, Bishop Libby speaks to Premier about her calling and the future of women in the church.

The legislation to allow women priests went through General Synod in 1992 while the Rt Rev Libby Lane – who was to later become the first female Bishop – was at theological college with her husband, George Lane. They got ordained together in 1994.

She told Premier: “I was in that first cohort of women who were selected and trained and ordained exactly in parallel alongside their male peers, so we knew that that was going to be our trajectory, that when we completed our training, which we had done at the same time, we would be deaconed and then priested at the same time”.

In January 2015, she took on the role as suffragan Bishop of Stockport after the vote to allow women bishops passed the year before.

When asked about how what the ‘next thing’ is for women in the Church of England was and what she thought of the next Archbishop of Canterbury being a woman she said: “I think the issue around Archbishop will come when it comes. There are certainly women who have their gifts and who will have the experience when those vacancies arise and I pray that they will be discerned alongside their brothers who exercise episcopal ministry and that time will come.

“I don’t know when that will be. But if it does, and it’s in my…

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