Emerging through the great west door of York Minster to be photographed, flanked by the Archbishop of York, Dr Sentamu, and the Bishop of Stockport, the Rt Revd Libby Lane, the new Bishop of Burnley, the Rt Revd Philip North, reflected on a “wonderful expression of the unity of the Church”.
Consecrated on Monday, exactly a week after Bishop Lane, Bishop North is the first traditionalist bishop to be appointed since the passing of the women-bishops Measure. His laughter with her on the steps – both were beaming in the winter sun – was indicative of a jubilant atmosphere among the many bishops present.
After receiving a long line of people seeking his blessing (and at least one selfie), the new Bishop spoke first of unity.
“We had all the bishops together, including Bishop Libby, gathered around in prayer for the Holy Spirit, and I got a real sense of the unity of the Church, and of the precedents that have been set this last week: eight extraordinary days in York Minster, which have seen the consecration, to great joy amongst many Anglicans, of the first woman, and then what’s happened today, which has shown that there’s a future for those who in good conscience can’t accept that development.”
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