WATCH is thrilled at the appointment of the first ever female bishop in the Church of England. At last, alleluia!

Libby Lane is a great choice and the people of Chester Dioceses are fortunate indeed. She will bring great expertise to her new role, and has championed the ministry of ordained women locally and nationally.

The Church of England has shown a remarkable turn of speed in getting to this point only two years after the negative vote in November 2012. We hope that the pace of change will continue, enabling the Church of England to become a place where all women are fully valued as people of God, and where all their different roles and ministries are celebrated.

We look forward with joyful expectation to many more appointments like this, until 50% of the House is female. The Church will gain enormously from the cultural change that this will bring about in its life and ways of working.

Hilary Cotton, Chair of WATCH, said “This is a great day of rejoicing and a momentous day of change. I have worked with Libby on the Transformations Steering Group, where she has been an active advocate for our work addressing the need for cultural change in the Church in terms of gender. As ‘the first’, she will have expectations heaped upon her from all directions. But there will also be an immense wave of goodwill towards her, from within and well beyond the Church of England. ”