LONDON – Male domination in the leadership of the Church of England ended Monday, as the 500-year-old institution consecrated its first female bishop.
The Rev. Libby Lane became the eighth Bishop of Stockport in a service at York Minster. Her consecration comes after the church ended a long and divisive dispute by voting last year to allow women to serve as bishops.
Dozens of bishops gathered around Lane, laying on hands and offering a sign of solidarity. Just before the dramatic moment, a man raised a voice of protest against her consecration, saying "No. Not in my name!"
She swallowed hard and remained stoic as the protest was leveled. The archbishop of York, John Sentamu, rejected the objection with a prepared statement, and then simply moved on.
The congregation was then asked if they approved. The response was a thunderous yes.
Lane has dismissed criticism in the past that her appointment is merely a symbolic gesture, saying that she may be "the first, but I won't be the only."
A saxophone player and soccer fan, Lane was one of the first women to become a Church of England priest. She was ordained in 1994. Her husband is also a priest.