(Spectator) Meet Libby Lane ”“ the first interview with the first woman bishop

When we meet in the Crewe YMCA, she has just been touring the building surrounded by a small cloud of cameras and journalists and is preparing to say goodbye to her congregation at a party this evening. They only found out this morning that she would be leaving them to become a bishop. When we talk about the church at St Peter’s Hale, Lane seems a little emotional as she is clearly sad to be leaving them behind, but for the rest of the interview, she is as polished as any politician I’ve ever interviewed.

The first ever woman bishop, appointed after years of campaigning and fighting in the Church of England, is so keen not to cause any more fights that she tries to avoid saying anything particularly striking during the interview. She refuses to put herself on one side or another when I ask whether she sees herself as a liberal, a conservative, an evangelical, or something else. Speaking in that special Anglican way ”“ a slightly slower-than-usual pace of words that linger a little longer over vowels, especially ”˜God’, which becomes ”˜Go-od’, and thoughtful-sounding pauses ”“ she says:

”˜I would describe myself as a Christian and as a passionate Anglican and that’s how I would describe myself. I have been formed and shaped by a whole breadth of the Church of England’s tradition and experience and been really enriched by that and I want to hold onto that breadth and the richness that I have got in Christ and all the traditions of the Church.’

Read it all.


Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Women

2 comments on “(Spectator) Meet Libby Lane ”“ the first interview with the first woman bishop

  1. MichaelA says:

    This just brings closer the moment of decision for all Anglicans in CofE who say they can’t in good conscience accept the ministry of a woman bishop. Now that it has cleared the hurdles, CofE intends to appoint a lot more women bishops, very quickly.

    It is likely that some of those who currently say they can’t accept their ministry will find that they can, when the alternative means actually doing something or taking a risk. They can then remain in CofE and do whatever mental or spiritual gymnastics are required to justify their backflip, at least to themselves.

    Others will find that they cannot accept it, i.e. they must remain true to the teaching of our Lord and his apostles. I hope that they have already planned what they are going to do and who they are going to fellowship with, because its a bit late to start the planning just before you take action.

  2. MichaelA says:

    I should add, I expect there are some in CofE who already know what they are going to do. For example, one very large evangelical church in the north has had almost nothing to do with its bishop for the last 15 years, since there was a dispute over his support for homosexuality in the clergy. As I understand it, the bishop doesn’t get invited to preach, to confirm, to ordain or anything.

    So its not going to make much difference to that church or others like it if the bishop is a woman.

    But not all churches or clergy are in that happy situation.