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Church of England ordains 1st diocesan woman bishop

July 23, 2015

Rachel Treweek has become the first female diocesan bishop in the Church of England's history.

Earlier in the year, Libby Lane became the first woman ordained as a suffragan bishop-- a position comparable to that of a Catholic auxiliary bishop.

"I hope that women bishops will disturb us," Anglican Bishop Adrian Newman preached at the July 22 ceremony, which took place at Canterbury Cathedral. "I hope they will challenge the conventions of the Church of England, which continues to be led and directed by too many people like me: white, male, middle-aged professionals."

"Every section of society, secular or religious, needs a way to allow nonconformity," Newman added. "I hope women as new bishops will raise nonconformity to new heights."

In its coverage of the July 22 ceremony, The Guardian described Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury as "beaming" and reported that "the cathedral rafters rang with applause, whistling, and whooping."

"The celebration and prayer was just fantastic, amazing," said Treweek, who was moved by what she described as the "Mexican wave of love and clapping."


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