First female bishop receives Honorary Degree

The first female bishop of the Church of England, the Right Reverend Libby Lane, received the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws from the University of Bath today (Thursday 6 July 2017) as part of the annual summer degree ceremonies.

Libby was ordained deacon in 1993 and as a priest in 1994. She served her curacy at St James’s Church, Blackburn.

In 2013, Libby was elected one of eight participant observers of the House of Bishops as the observer representing the North West of England. Then, in December 2014, it was announced that the Reverend Lane was to become the Bishop of Stockport, a suffragan bishop in the Diocese of Chester.

She was consecrated at York Minster on 26 January 2015 and installed at Chester Cathedral on 8 March 2015, International Women’s Day. As an elected suffragan, Libby is a member of the House of Bishops. She is Vice-Chair of The Children’s Society, Chair of Cranmer Hall, Chair of Chester Diocesan Board of Education, Chair of the Foxhill Retreat House and a member of the national review bodies for vocation and senior leadership.

Libby was presented her Degree by the University’s President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Dame Glynis Breakwell at a degree ceremony alongside graduands from the Faculty of Science at Bath Abbey.

Dr Gordon Taylor, Reader in Medical Statistics from the University’s Department for Health, gave her oration at the ceremony.

He said: “Through her integrity, wisdom and faith, the Right Reverend Libby Lane provides an inspiring role, not only to our students graduating today but indeed to all of us.”

Libby said of her award: “I am honoured to accept this degree. It marks not only the place I hold as the Church of England’s first woman Bishop and the sign of hope that may be for those who aspire to break new ground, but also the continuing fruitful dialogue between faith and learning and our shared endeavour to be beacons of possibility.”

Vicky Just

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