On Wednesday 17th December 2014 it was announced by Downing Street that the Rev Libby Lane had been nominated to be the next Bishop of Stockport, making her the first woman to be appointed as a bishop in the Church of England. MPs joined those across the country in offering their congratulations.
The announcement was welcomed in the House of Commons by the Speaker in response to questions from MPs:
Miller, Maria (Basingstoke) (Con) On a point of order, Mr Speaker. This morning it has been announced that Rev. Libby Lane is to become the Bishop of Stockport, and therefore the first woman bishop of the Church of England. At a time when there are more women in work than ever before and more women taking leadership positions, I am sure that the whole House will want to take a moment to welcome such an important first step towards ensuring that the extraordinary talents of the 1,700 women clergy in the Church of England are recognised and used to the full .
Mr Brady, Graham (Altrincham and Sale West) (Con) Further to that point of order, Mr Speaker. I warmly endorse my right hon. Friend’s point of order. Rev. Libby Lane is currently the vicar of St Peter’s in Hale in my constituency, an office that she has conducted with outstanding ability. She has made a great contribution to the community, and I am sure that she will continue to do so in her new role as Bishop of Stockport.
Mr Speaker: I thank the right hon. Lady for her point of order, and the hon. Gentleman for his follow-up point of order. I think that they speak for Members on both sides of the House and throughout it in offering the warmest congratulations to Rev. Libby Lane on her appointment. It is a wonderful and joyous occasion of celebration for her and also, I hope, a sign of great and progressive change within the Church.
An Early Day Motion was also submitted in the House of Commons by Graham Brady MP, supported by Members from other parties, the text of which reads:
That this House congratulates the Reverend Libby Lane, currently Vicar of St Peter’s Hale and St Elizabeth’s Ashley, on her appointment as Bishop of Stockport; and believes that her outstanding record of service to the community since her ordination in 1994 will stand her in good stead as the first woman bishop in the Church of England.
Many politicians also posted their congratulations on Twitter, including:
David Cameron, Prime Minister: Congratulations to Elizabeth Lane on becoming the first woman bishop in the Church – an historic appointment.
Nick Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister: My warmest congratulations to Reverend Libby Lane on her appointment as a CoE Bishop. This is a very important day for equality.
George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer: Absolutely delighted that Rev Libby Lane from Ashley is to become first female bishop. She will be fantastic Bishop of Stockport.
Nicky Morgan, Education Secretary & Minister for Women and Equalities: Delighted to welcome appointment of first female bishop in Church of England – congratulations to Revd Libby Lane – a truly historic first
Yvette Cooper, Shadow Home Secretary: Congratulations to Revd Libby Lane on her appointment as CofE’s first female Bishop. Great news!
Rachel Reeves, Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions: Congratulations to Libby Lane, the Church of England’s first female bishop. An historic day
Baroness Maeve Sherlock, Shadow Work and Pensions Minister: Congrats & good wishes to Revd Libby Lane, next Bishop of Stockport. Hope we see women bishops in the Lords soon!