Historic first as female Bishop of Lynn announced

Historic first as female Bishop of Lynn announced
Bishop of Lynn designate, the Ven Dr Jane Steen (c) Diocese of Norwich

10 Downing Street has announced that Her Majesty The Queen has approved the nomination of The Venerable Dr Jane Steen, currently Archdeacon of Southwark, to be the next Bishop of Lynn.

The first female bishop in Norfolk, Dr Steen will also be the first suffragan bishop to be consecrated in Norwich Cathedral in over 100 years, if not ever. This will take place on Wednesday 23 June. Suffragan bishops are usually consecrated in London and York, but this has been altered due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Following the announcement, Bishop designate Jane will tour the Lynn Archdeaconry, including visits to a primary school in King’s Lynn, King’s Lynn Minster, a small holding near Dereham and a coastal parish church lunch club on the North Norfolk coast. The visit will end with attendance at evensong at Norwich Cathedral.

The new bishop was born in 1964 and studied at Newnham and Trinity Colleges, Cambridge, and Westcott House theological college. She was a curate in the Diocese of St Albans before moving to the Diocese of Southwark as Chaplain to Bishop Tom Butler.

Jane comes to the Diocese of Norwich after over 20 years ministry in the Diocese of Southwark. Since 2013, she has been the Archdeacon of Southwark, and was previously Canon Chancellor of Southwark Cathedral and Director of Ministerial Education.

She was the Bishop of Southwark’s chaplain for five years having served her title in the Diocese of St Albans. Jane trained for ministry at Westcott House in Cambridge, where she read theology at Trinity College. She read English at Newnham College, Cambridge and her PhD is on Samuel Johnson’s Anglicanism.

Jane has an LLM in Canon Law from the University of Cardiff. She is married to Pip and enjoys walking, reading and gardening on a small scale. Jane and Pip are thrilled to be coming to the Diocese of Norwich and look forward to ministry here.

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Bishop of Lynn designate, the Ven Dr Jane Steen and husband Pip (c) Diocese of Norwich

Jane said:

“I am honoured and delighted to have been called to be the next Bishop of Lynn and I am looking forward to the new ministry to which God and the Church have called me. It will be a privilege to minister with the clergy and laity of the Lynn archdeaconry and to serve the wider life of north and west Norfolk.

“I feel very blessed to be calling this area home after several lovely holidays, and I will enjoy getting to know people and places better. I will carry with me many happy memories of the Diocese of Southwark and especially from eight years of ministering in the Southwark Archdeaconry.”

The Rt Revd Graham Usher, the Bishop of Norwich, said:

“Archdeacon Jane Steen has a deep pastoral care for the people and communities that she serves in Southwark and a rich experience of mission in the Church of England, including supporting church communities to flourish. She will bring these aspects, together with her great sense of joy and fun, to the role of Bishop of Lynn. I am confident that she and Pip will soon come to love this diocese and its people. May we be a blessing to them, as they will be a blessing to us.”

The Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, Bishop of Southwark said:

“Jane Steen has been a trusted colleague over many years and has played a major role in deepening discipleship as well as equipping mission and ministry across the Archdeaconry and wider Diocese of Southwark. I commend Jane and Pip to your prayers and have every confidence that Jane’s future episcopal ministry will be a rich source of blessing and encouragement to all in the diocese in which she will soon be serving.”

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