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Female bishops

February 2015

Following the appointment of Libby Lane as the Church of England’s (CofE’s) first female bishop, women bishops are set to be fast-tracked to the House of Lords, it has been revealed.

There are 26 ‘Lords spiritual’ seats, which are usually allocated to bishops on the basis of seniority or length of service. According to the BBC, proposals set out in December will enable female bishops to become peers.

Mrs Lane was announced in December as the new Bishop of Stockport, shortly after the legislation was formally adopted on 17 November. The CofE’s General Synod voted to allow female bishops in July 2014. She was one of the first women to be ordained as a vicar 20 years ago when the Church approved women priests.

According to an interview with The Spectator, Mrs Lane was ‘keen not to cause any fights and tried to avoid saying anything particularly striking during the interview. She refused to put herself on one side or another, when asked whether she saw herself as a liberal, a conservative, an evangelical, or something else’.

She did not confirm to The Spectator whether or not she believed in a literal interpretation of Scripture, but said, ‘I read the Bible every day. I shape my preaching around Scripture. I love the Bible and it is what shapes my life. I hear God’s voice in it speaking to me and shaping my life and through it I think God’s intentions for the world. The Bible really matters to me’.

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