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Former York priest announced as first woman Bishop

Former York priest, the Reverend Libby Lane, has been announced as the first woman Bishop by the Church of England.

Currently Vicar of St Peter's, Hale, and St Elizabeth's, Ashley, the Reverend Lane will be will be consecrated as the 8th Bishop of Stockport at a ceremony at York Minster on Monday 26 January 2015.

Five-year-old becomes first female bishop

A medieval custom was revived at the weekend by a North Yorkshire church when a five year old girl donned mitre and cope and was made a bishop.

Rosie Wilson, the Bairn Bishop Credit: Diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales

Rosie Wilson of Selside near Horton-in-Ribblesdale volunteered to become the ‘Bairn Bishop’ during the evening service at St Oswald’s Church, Horton-in- Ribblesdale. She was re-enacting being one of the ‘bairn’ or ‘boy’ bishops who, before the Reformation, would be elected on the Feast of St Nicholas (December 6th) and held office until the Feast of the Holy Innocents (Childermass – December 28th). During that time the bairn bishop would be dressed in specially made, boy-sized, vestments. Some even went on visitations in the city and collected offerings.

The custom spread to parish churches and was only put a stop to by Henry V111 in an edict, saying “it was a childish observance when little childer be strangely decked to counterfeit the Ordinary”.

That didn’t stop Rosie, who stepped forward when Priest-in-charge, the Revd Stephen Dawson asked for a volunteer during his sermon. “The ceremony started by accident” said Stephen. “ I talked about the Bairn Bishops, their visits to parishes in their Diocese, especially on horseback in York, their authority to declare holidays and deliver sermons (written for them).

“We made a mitre from red card and I asked if anyone wanted to try on the chasuble. Rosie, as the youngest present at Evening Prayer quickly left her back pew near the font and walked right up to the chancel.”

Now that Rosie has volunteered, Stephen says that, just as in medieval times, he hopes her ‘duties’ won’t stop with dressing up at the front of church. “Rosie will be doing it again for school assembly this week and I hope she will be at the carol services and Christingles.”

St Oswald's is one of the most complete Norman churches in Yorkshire and sits in the shadow of Penyghent, the smallest of The Three Peaks. Stephen said that although there were no long term plans to revive the centuries old tradition, it was certainly an appropriate venue to hold the service.


Plans to create new public square in Hull

A multi-million pound project to transform one of Hull's most iconic buildings will be unveiled later today.

A new large open square is to be created outside the medieval Holy Trinity Church as part of the city centre's revamp for the City of Culture year.

It is planned to level the uneven gravestones outside the main door, remove some walls to join the area with the existing space around the nearby statue.


Bishop starts bible reading marathon

The new Bishop of the new diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales, Bishop Nick Baines will today start an 84-hour non-stop Bible reading marathon.

Bishop Nick will read the first 15 minutes of the beginning of the Bible at the reading event called Alpha to Omega which will take place in St Mary's Church, Gomersal.

Bishop Nick Baines Credit: ITV Yorkshire

I am delighted that Bishop Nick has accepted to start off the challenge of our 84 hour non-stop reading marathon - and not only that, but he will also preach at the 9.30 am service on that Sunday. "This gives the whole project an enormous boost and we are all extremely grateful for his spontaneous and generous response."

– Trees Fewster-Verhaar, Organiser

The event will start at 11am and run through the following nights to finish 84 hours later around 11pm on Wednesday September 17.

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