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UK: Protesting priest shouting 'Not in the Bible' disrupts consecration of first female bishop in the Church of England at York Minster

UK: Protesting priest shouting 'Not in the Bible' disrupts consecration of first female bishop in the Church of England at York Minster
Rev Libby Lane, 48, was today consecrated as the Bishop of Stockport
Service at York Minster was led by the Archbishop of York, John Sentamu
Dissident priest Rev Paul Williamson interrupted the service shouting 'Not in the Bible'
CofE spokesman said he was 'serial protester expected to attend'
Rev Williamson has previously mounted several legal challenges against women in the church
Mrs Lane's appointment came after years of furious argument over the possibility of female bishops
She is married to another vicar and is a mother of two

January 27, 2015

The first woman bishop in the history of the Church of England was today officially consecrated - but the ceremony at York Minster was disrupted by a protesting vicar.

The Reverend Libby Lane became the Bishop of Stockport in a service conducted by the Archbishop of York, John Sentamu.

The historic event was briefly interrupted by the appearance of an ultra-conservative priest, Rev Paul Williamson, shouting 'Not in the Bible' as she was presented to the congregation.
Man objects to Libby Lane's consecration as first female bishop

Rev Williamson interrupted the ceremony by shouting 'Not in the Bible'. A Church of England spokesman said his attempt to disrupt the ceremony was 'expected'

Mrs Lane, an Oxford-educated mother of two, was appointed as a bishop last month, in a historic move which ends five centuries of all-male leadership in the church.
That announcement came just weeks after the General Synod formally adopted legislation allowing women to take the role, following years of furious debate on the issue.

At today's service - described by the new bishop as 'an occasion of prayer and of party' - Mrs Lane, 48, was greeted by the ringing bells of the medieval Minster as a congregation of 2,000 awaited her arrival.
She entered the cathedral through the south door in a procession with other ministers and members of the clergy.

The Archbishop of York introduced the service and welcomed Mrs Lane and her family before she was presented to be ordained and consecrated by the Bishops of Exeter and Chester.

She spoke to affirm her faith and swore oaths of allegiance and canonical obedience, followed by hymns, Bible readings and psalms.

As Dr Sentamu asked the congregation if they wanted Ms Lane to be ordained, Mr Williamson stepped forward to the altar and shouted: 'No. Not in the Bible,' demanding to speak to the prelate.

The Archbishop read out a pre-prepared legal statement then repeated his question, 'Is it now your will that she should be ordained?'

The congregation replied, 'It is,' and the service continued despite the disruption. After the litany and an ordination prayer, Rev Lane knelt before the Archbishop while he and 100 other bishops present laid their hands on her head.

Dr Sentamu presented the new bishop with a Bible and anointed her head. The congregation applauded as she was officially presented as the Bishop of Stockport.

Mr Williamson, the vicar of St George's, Hanworth in south-west London, is a well-known campaigner against female priests who tried to launch a lawsuit stopped Prince Charles from marrying Camilla Parker Bowles.

Speaking after her consecration, Mrs Lane said: 'Archbishop Sentamu has observed, "The way that we show our faith and our love for one another is with two simple things, prayer and parties."

'Today is an occasion of prayer and of party and I am thrilled that so many want to share in both.

'I cannot properly express how encouraged I have been in the weeks since the announcement of my nomination, by the thousands of messages I have received with words of congratulation, support and wisdom.

'Thank you to all who are praying for me and partying with me today.'

The bishop added: 'I cannot possibly live up to everyone's expectation. And so today, at my consecration, I hold on to words of promise from the Bible, a reassurance that all this does not depend on me.

'My consecration service is not really about me. With echoes of practice which has been in place for hundreds of years in the church, it is a reminder that what I am about to embark on is shared by the bishops around me, by those who have gone before me and those who will come after.'
Authority: The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby was in York today for Mrs Lane's consecration

At the time of her appointment, Mrs Lane said it was a 'great honour' to be the first female bishop - but insisted that she would not simply be a token face.

'This moment is significant, but it is not simply a gesture,' she said. 'I'm the first, but I won't be the only.
'And I follow in the footsteps of women across the Anglican Church and globally.'

The announcement prompted fears that it could lead to a split in the Anglican community, as traditionalists have long fought against the prospect of women becoming bishops.

However, Mrs Lane said she wanted to 'heal and not to hurt, to build up and not to destroy'.
Capturing the moment: A priest takes a photograph as he waits for the start of the ceremony

Mrs Lane, originally from the Peak District, was already a pioneer as one of the first female priests in the Church of England, having been ordained in July 1994 after studying theology at St Peter's College, Oxford.

Her last job was as vicar of St Peter's, Hale and St Elizabeth's, Ashley - both in the North-West - and she was appointed to her new post after initially serving on the committee trying to find a bishop.
In her spare time she is an avid Manchester United supporter who has learned to play the saxophone and enjoys solving cryptic crosswords.

VIDEO: The Rev. Paul Williamson explains his actions in this video: http://news.sky.com/video/1415477/protester-explains-his-actions

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