First Female Bishop

Oral Answers to Questions — Church Commissioners – in the House of Commons at 9:30 am on 29 January 2015.

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Photo of Michael Fabricant Michael Fabricant Conservative, Lichfield 9:30, 29 January 2015

What responsibilities have been allocated to the Right Rev. Libby Lane, Bishop of Stockport; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Tony Baldry Tony Baldry The Second Church Estates Commissioner, The Second Church Estates Commissioner

The Bishop of Stockport was consecrated at York Minster on 26 January and she has commenced her role as assistant bishop in the diocese of Chester.

Photo of Michael Fabricant Michael Fabricant Conservative, Lichfield

I think it will not just be cutting-edge MPs like Mr Sheerman who will welcome this, but the whole House. Does my right hon. Friend agree that in four or five years’ time we will—rather like with women newsreaders—take the appointment of a woman bishop as a matter of course?

Photo of Tony Baldry Tony Baldry The Second Church Estates Commissioner, The Second Church Estates Commissioner

I entirely agree with my hon. Friend. It was fantastic seeing 100 bishops at the consecration of the Bishop of Stockport earlier this week, but I am quite sure that within two or three years it will be commonplace and, quite rightly, unremarkable when a woman is consecrated as a suffragan or diocesan bishop, and I think everyone will soon start to wonder what all the fuss was about as we get excellent women bishops in the Church of England ministering in dioceses across the country.