Dame Sarah Mullally installed as Church of England's first ever female Bishop of London

The Church of England has installed a woman as its Bishop of London for the first time ever - making her one of its most senior figures.

Dame Sarah Mullally was invested at St Paul's Cathedral on International Nurses Day - Florence Nightingale's birthday - echoing the new bishop's former career as a nurse.

Bishop Mullally performed the tradition of knocking three times on the Cathedral's Great West door with her pastoral staff, a spokesman for the Diocese of London said.

In her sermon, she preached on the theme of "being subversive for Christ" - noting that 105 years ago this week, suffragettes placed a bomb underneath the same seat upon which she had been enthroned as Bishop of London.

The 133rd Bishop of London also spoke of the challenges facing London, particularly escalating knife crime, and referenced historical sexual abuse within the Church.

Sarah Mullally (centre) during her installation as the new Bishop of London during a service at St Paul's Cathedral in London. Credit: PA

Bishop Mullally called for a culture that "challenges deference and the abuse of power" and for victims of abuse to be listened to.

She added: "We need to speak up for the whole of London, to work to challenge the violence and the crime that have led mothers to clean their own children's blood from our pavements.

"Could there be a starker image or a more urgent wake-up call for all who love this city, who believe it can have an even better future?"