LONDON (AP) — The Church of England has named its first female bishop, promoting Libby Lane, a vicar in northwest England, to bishop of Stockport.
The announcement comes five months after the church ended a long and divisive dispute by voting to allow women to serve as bishops.
Lane’s first act after Wednesday’s announcement was to lead a prayer for victims of the Taliban school massacre in Pakistan.
She said her promotion to bishop was “an unexpected joy.”
The 80 million-strong global Anglican Communion, whose members range from conservative evangelicals to supporters of gay marriage, has long been divided on the role of women in church leadership.
The Episcopal Church in the Unites States was the first member to have a woman serve as bishop and is now led by a woman.