back to top

We’ve updated our privacy notice and cookie policy. Learn more about cookies, including how to disable them, and find out how we collect your personal data and what we use it for.

Meet Libby Lane, The Church Of England's First Female Bishop

The 48-year-old is becoming the new Bishop of Stockport.

Posted on

Reverend Libby Lane has been announced as the Church of England’s first female bishop.

Phil Noble / Reuters

The historic announcement, which was approved by the Queen, was made on Wednesday morning.

The Church of England said in a statement: "Downing Street have today announced that the new Bishop of Stockport – and the first woman bishop in the Church of England – will be the Revd Libby Lane, currently Vicar of St Peter's, Hale, and St Elizabeth's, Ashley.

"As Bishop of Stockport she will serve as a suffragan (assistant) bishop in the Diocese of Chester.

"She will be consecrated as the eighth Bishop of Stockport at a ceremony at York Minster on Monday 26 January 2015."

The prime minister was quick to offer his congratulations.

Congratulations to Revd Libby Lane on becoming the first woman bishop in the Church. An historic appointment and important day for equality.

David Cameron@David_CameronFollow

Congratulations to Revd Libby Lane on becoming the first woman bishop in the Church. An historic appointment and important day for equality.

10:06 AM - 17 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Lane said the news was "unexpected and very exciting".

Phil Noble / Reuters

She added: "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."

Her appointment comes a month after the General Synod adopted legislation for female bishops on 17 November. The announcement comes after centuries of male leadership in the church.


Lane was ordained as a deacon in 1993 and a priest in 1994, and for the last eight years has served as the vicar of St Peter's, Hale, and St Elizabeth's, Ashley.

PAUL ELLIS/AFP / Getty Images

Her husband, George, is also a priest and the pair were one of the first couples in the Church of England to be ordained together.

They have two children, who are both currently in higher education.

Lane went to school in Manchester and attended Oxford University before training for ministry at Cranmer Hall in Durham.

PAUL ELLIS/AFP / Getty Images

Since 2010 she has been Dean of Women in Ministry for the diocese of Chester.

According to the Church of England, the 48-year-old's interests include playing the saxophone, supporting Manchester United, and doing cryptic crosswords.

PAUL ELLIS/AFP / Getty Images

Commenting on her appointment, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, said: "I am absolutely delighted that Libby has been appointed to succeed Bishop Robert Atwell as Bishop of Stockport. Her Christ-centred life, calmness and clear determination to serve the church and the community make her a wonderful choice.

"She will be bishop in a diocese that has been outstanding in its development of people, and she will make a major contribution. She and her family will be in my prayers during the initial excitement, and the pressures of moving."

Here's Lane discussing her appointment:

View this video on YouTube

Richard James is the News Director for BuzzFeed Australia and is based in Sydney.

Contact Richard James at

Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.