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Vicar from Cheshire makes history as first female bishop

A vicar from Cheshire has created history today.

The Reverend Libby Lane has been named as the first woman Church of England bishop.

Mrs Lane was unveiled in Stockport only a month after Anglican leaders voted to put an end to years of wrangling over the issue.

Ashley Derricott reports.

First woman bishop is mother-of-two and Manchester United fan

Libby Lane Credit: St Peter's Hale

Libby Lane, the new Bishop of Stockport, is a saxophone-playing, Oxford-educated Manchester United fan with a husband and two grown-up children.

Her appointment ends centuries of male dominance at the head of the Church, and was by Lane's own admission "a long time coming".

Rev Libby Lane with her husband George Credit: PA

The 48-year-old was educated at St Peter's College, Oxford before training for the ministry at Cranmer Hall in Durham.

She was ordained as a priest in 1993 and has been a bishop's selection advisor since 2003 - though was not herself eligible to become a bishop until one month ago.

Her husband George is a chaplain at Manchester Airport and the pair were among the first married couple in the Church of England to be ordained together. Their children are now both in higher education.

Lane leaves her current position as vicar at St Peter's Hale and St Elizabeth's Ashley, which she has held since 2007.

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Archbishop of Canterbury 'delighted' over Libby Lane's appointment

Most Rev Justin Welby Credit: PA

The Archbishop of Canterbury has said he is "absolutely delighted" at the appointment of Libby Lane as Bishop of Stockport.

Her Christ-centred life, calmness and clear determination to serve the Church and the community make her a wonderful choice.

She will be bishop in a diocese that has been outstanding in its development of people, and she will make a major contribution.

She and her family will be in my prayers during the initial excitement, and the pressures of moving.

– MOST REV JUSTIN WELBY, ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY

Rev Libby Lane is Uk's first female bishop

New Bishop of Stockport Libby Lane Credit: ITV Granada

The Church of England announced in a historic appointment today that the Rev Libby Lane will become its first female bishop.

The announcement comes a month after the General Synod formally adopted legislation in favour of women bishops.

Ms Lane, 48, has been appointed the new Bishop of Stockport, an assistant or suffragan bishop, in the diocese of Chester.

She will be consecrated as the 8th bishop of the town at a ceremony at York Minster on January 26.

She was ordained a priest in 1994 and has served a number of parish and chaplaincy roles in the north of England in the dioceses of Blackburn, York and Chester.

For the past eight years she has served as vicar of St Peter's, Hale, Greater Manchester, and St Elizabeth's, Ashley, Cheshire.

Ms Lane said:

This is unexpected and very exciting. On this historic day as the Church of England announces the first woman nominated to be bishop, I am very conscious of all those who have gone before me, women and men, who for decades have looked forward to this moment. But most of all I am thankful to God.

– Rev Libby Lane

The move marks the end of centuries of all-male leadership in the Church.

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British Muslims urge IS captors to 'see the errors of their ways'

More than 100 Muslim leaders from across the UK have signed an open letter calling for the release of British aid worker Alan Henning.

The letter, printed in The Independent, is also supported by the Muslim Council of Britain which represents more than 500 Muslim organisations:

We, the undersigned British Muslim Imams, organisations and individuals, wish to express our horror and revulsion at the senseless murder of David Haines and the threat to the life of our fellow British citizen, Alan Henning ...

We plead with those holding Alan Henning to see the errors of their ways. To embrace the word of the Quran and accept that what they are now doing constitutes the worst condemnable sin.

– open letter