Profile: Who is Libby Lane?

Libby Lane, will be consecrated as suffragan Bishop of Stockport at York Minster today.Reuters

A saxophone-playing Oxford graduate, Libby Lane was vicar of St Peter's, Hale and St Elizabeth's, Ashley in the Chester diocese at the time of her appointment to Bishop of Stockport.

Because she will not be a diocesan bishop, she will not be among the women bishops that will be fast-tracked into the House of Lords. Bishop of Stockport is a suffragan or assistant bishop post in her current diocese. Southwell and Nottingham is understood to have women on its shortlist for a new diocesan bishop and Oxford is also likely to consider women when its appointments process begins.

Lane is married to a male priest, George, making them one of the Church's first clerical couples, and was among the first women to be ordained as a priest, in 1994. Her pastoral life has been concentrated in the north, in the dioceses of Blackburn, York and Chester. The couple have two adult children.

Although not a "name" outside the Church, she is highly rated within it and came to the attention of senior bishops as one of eight clergy women elected as observers to the House of Bishops.

Speaking at Stockport town hall in December, she said: "I am grateful for, though somewhat daunted by, the confidence placed in me by the Diocese of Chester. 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.

"The church faces wonderful opportunities, to proclaim afresh, in this generation, the Good News of Jesus and to build His Kingdom. The Church of England is called to serve all the people of this country, and being present in every community, we communicate our faith best when our lives build up the lives of others, especially the most vulnerable. I am excited by the possibilities and challenges ahead."

The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, said at the time that he is looking forward to today's consecration "with great joy".

"Libby brings a wealth of experience in parish ministry, in hospital and FE chaplaincy, in vocations work and the nurture of ordinands," he said. "I am delighted that she will exercise her episcopal ministry with joy, prayerfulness, and trust in God.

"When the General Synod rejected the previous proposals in November 2012, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, wrote to 'pour some balm' on my wounded heart. That year, he encouraged me, his province was finally celebrating the election of two women bishops. 'Be comforted', he said, 'it will come.'

"When I wrote to him last weekend to offer my prayers for his battle with prostate cancer, he replied with these words: 'Wonderful that you over there will soon have women bishops. Yippee! I know you have pushed for this for a long time. Yippee again!'

"Praise be to God in the highest heaven, and peace to all in England!"

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has praised Lane's "Christ-centred life, calmness and clear determination to serve the church and the community".

"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," Welby added.