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Both of Cumbria's bishops attend consecration of first female bishop

Both of Cumbria's bishops attended the consecration of Bishop Lane Credit: PA

Both of Cumbria’s bishops, the Bishop of Carlisle and the Bishop of Penrith, are attending today’s consecration of the Church of England’s first woman bishop.

It follows the announcement, in December, that the Rev’d Libby Lane had been confirmed as the 8th Bishop of Stockport.

The decision has been the subject of dispute, and both bishops have expressed hope that Christian's from opposite sides of the debate will move forward with love.

“This is a day of great joy for Libby, for her family, and for many in the Church and I pray that she will be blessed in her new role.

“It is a day of great significance for us as a Church and follows many years of careful discussion and consultation, conducted throughout with great Christian love and charity.

“As we gather for Libby’s Consecration, we do so in the knowledge that the issue of women bishops has created some divisions. While we celebrate with Libby today we also reach out in love, respect and support to our brothers and sisters in Christ who may hold differing views.”

– Rt Rev’d James Newcome, Bishop of Carlisle

Last year the Church of England's General Synod ratified the Canon to allow women to become bishops.

Bishop of Carlisle 'delighted' by women bishop vote

The Bishop of Carlisle has welcomed the news that women can now become bishops within the Church of England.

The General Synod voted in favour of the move yesterday after almost five hours of debate.

“Much prayer and careful consideration has gone into this process. We recognise that at times this has been a painful process for those in favour and those against the creation of women bishops.

“Our priority is growing disciples in Christ and we hope that this decision will help the mission of the church.

“Finally, I would reiterate my personal delight that our excellent women clergy now have parity with their male colleagues and that as we move forward, following this vote, we will continue to be guided by God in all we do.”

– Rt Rev James Newcome, The Bishop of Carlisle

Thirty-seven bishops voted in favour with two against and one abstention, while 162 clergy approved with 25 against and four abstentions.

In the House of Laity, there were 152 votes in favour, 45 against and five abstentions.

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Women bishop ruling is 'distracting'

Reverend Eleanor Hancock, a vicar in Carlisle, has spoken to TV Border of her shock and disappointment to the decision not to appoint women as bishops in the Church of England, but she says the debate has distracted people away from the work of the church. She said:

"Actually these things distract us from the work of the church. That what we're called to be is to be Jesus, to be Christ to the people that we work with and that we live amongst. And folk that aren't members of a church in the main, won't understand what this is all about, and I really think it gives a very wrong impression of what we're trying to do at ground level day by day; men and women working together serving the communities in which they live."

– Reverend Eleanor Hancock

Carlisle vicar 'hurt' by women bishop decision

Reverend Eleanor Hancock Credit: ITV Border

Eleanor Hancock is a vicar in Carlisle she spoke to ITV Border about her reaction to the decision not to allow women bishops in the Church of England. She said she was shocked and hurt and added:

"The thing that we have got to gets to grips with in the Church of England, and in other faith communities, is the fact that actually we are so much against discrimination in all other ways.

"We preach 'loving neighbour' and 'caring for each other' and 'equality 'and all of those kind of things and then what do we do? We treat women like second class citizens when it comes to leadership.

"In this country we actually legislate and enable and allow gender discrimination to take place within the faith community and I don't think that's acceptable any more."