Historic first as woman Bishop of Lynn consecrated

Historic first as woman Bishop of Lynn consecrated
The bishops & archdeacons at consecration of Bishop of Lynn. Photo credit Diocese of Norwich

On Wednesday 23 June, the Rt Revd Dr Jane Steen was consecrated as Bishop of Lynn in front of 250 people at Norwich Cathedral.

She is the first woman bishop in Norfolk and Waveney and the first suffragan bishop to have been consecrated in Norwich Cathedral. Suffragan bishops are usually consecrated in London or York, but this was altered due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Rt Revd Dr Jane Steen, The Bishop of Lynn said: “I feel humbled and honoured to be the first woman consecrated as a bishop in Norwich Cathedral. It is overwhelmingly beautiful, its stones saturated by the prayers of so many generations. To God be all its glory and may the Lord Jesus be with me as I go from here to serve in this wonderful diocese.”

The Rt Revd Sarah Mullally, the Bishop of London, as Dean of the Province of Canterbury presided over the service which was also on the feast day of St Etheldreda.

WEB The Rt Revd Dr Jane Steen Bishop of Lynn consecration (c) Diocese of Norwich

The Rt Revd Dr Jane Steen Bishop of Lynn consecration. Photo credit Diocese of Norwich

During the service Bishop Jane was anointed with sacred oil, signifying her role of leadership within the Church, and given a ring and pectoral cross. She also received a copy of the Bible, both to remind her of her duty to proclaim the Gospel and of the centrality of God’s Word.

Following the sharing of communion, the Bishop of Norwich assisted the Bishop of London, in giving the newly-ordained bishop a pastoral staff, symbolising her sharing in the ministry of Christ the Good Shepherd and saying: “Keep watch over the whole flock in which the Holy Spirit has appointed you shepherd. Encourage the faithful, restore the lost, build up the Body of Christ.”

After the service Bishop Jane mingled with the guests at a picnic that was held in the Bishop of Norwich’s garden. Refreshments were provided by local social enterprise, the Feed.

The Rt Revd Graham Usher, the Bishop of Norwich, said: “Bishop Jane has a deep pastoral care for the people and communities that she served in Southwark and a rich experience of mission in the Church of England, including supporting church communities to flourish. She brings these aspects, together with her great sense of joy and fun, to the role of Bishop of Lynn. I am confident that she and her husband, 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.”