Blackburn diocese – Pictures
The first album of pictures from the consecration of Rt Rev. Philip North, Bishop of Burnley.
As a follow-up to my last post on this subject, I am happy to be able to reproduce, via ‘Thinking Anglicans’, from the Blackburn diocesan web-site, these pictures of the historic occasion of the F.i.F. priest, Fr, Philip Norths’s elevation to the episcopate of the Church of England. He has now become the Bishop of Burnley, Suffragan of the Bishop of Blackburn.
Neither his Provincial Archbishop, the Archbishop of York; nor his diocesan, the Bishop of Burnley, took part in the ritual laying on of hands at the consecration of Bishop North – a task undertaken only by 3 episcopal members of the F.i.F. (Forward on Faith) group, an organisation which does not normally recognise the ordination of women.
However, in an historic compromise, the Church of England has allowed for this episcopal ordination to take place in York Minster – the very same venue used for the episcopal ordination, a week ago, of the first female priest to become a bishop of the Church of England, Bishop Libby Lane, who was present at this later ceremony.
One fact that bears promise for the future mutuality of the House of Bishops in the Church of England, however, was that the new bishop, Fr. Philip North himself, had invited Bishop Libby Lane to be present at his own episcopal consecration. Not only that, but he is seen here in one of the pictures – on this occasion – to be embraced by, and actually embracing, Bishop Libby.
One wonders, could this sign of mutuality on this occasion be a sign of hope for the future collegial acceptance of the presence of both genders of bishop within the House of Bishops – on an equal footing? Is this part of what the Anglican precept of ‘Unity in diversity’ is really all about? If so, there is hope for the future of the Church of England.
Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand