The Church of England is marking a new era in its history as the Rev Libby Lane becomes the first woman to be ordained as a bishop. More than 100 members of the episcopate from England and other parts of the worldwide Anglican Church will lay hands on the 48-year-old vicar from Hale, Greater Manchester, to formally consecrate her during a service at York Minster. The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu will anoint her with oil in an ancient tradition tracing its origins to the prophets of the Old Testament.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby, will also be present, alongside female bishops from churches in other parts of the world.
The consecration marks the conclusion of a decades-long wrangle over the role of women in leadership in the established Church, the last great institution of British public life to open itself to full gender equality.
Does that look like someone who is sobered by the burden of assuming spiritual leadership? Or the smirking triumph of someone who has finally managed to corrupt a once-great institution?
As the Church of England finally succumbs to its entryist invaders, we can safely predict that the church leaders will be disappointed in their expectations: “Church leaders hope it will mark a moment of reconciliation between
traditionalists and reformers on the issue.”
It won’t. It marks the death knell of the Church of England. The “new era” that is marked is the end.