YORKSHIRE’S first woman bishop has been consecrated in a moving ceremony at York Minster.
Close to 2,000 people, including 60 Bishops, packed into the Minster to see the Rt Reverend Alison White become only the second female bishop in the Church of England.
They answered the Archbishop of York’s request for assent to her ordination with a resounding: “It is.”
Bishop Alison, whose husband is Assistant Bishop of Newcastle Frank White, will have responsibility for the East Riding as well as Hull, where she will be welcomed at a special service at Holy Trinity Church, on Monday.
The Rev Maggie Jeavons, vicar of St Michael’s, Sutton, near Hull, said: “The consecration was amazing, fantastic, actually really moving. When I think about Alison joining us in Hull, I just think hallelujah.”
The Rt Rev Paul Ferguson, Bishop of Whitby, added: “It’s a marvellous day, great that we have Alison joining us here, as a Bishop in the Diocese of York. She is someone who has an immense amount of wisdom and wonderful godliness. There are so many people round the country whose lives have been touched by Alison and her ministry and it’s fantastic to see them all here in the Minster.”
The Church’s General Synod formally approved plans late last year to ordain women bishops after years of division and in the face of stiff opposition.
The first woman bishop, Libby Lane, who was ordained in January, was also at the ceremony, as was the former Bishop of Hull, the Rt Rev Richard Frith, who is now Bishop of Hereford.
The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu said: “I’m delighted to be consecrating and welcoming Alison as the new Bishop of Hull. Alison is a person of real godliness and wisdom. These are very exciting times in the Diocese of York as we mutually resource one another to build up the Body of Christ, to grow in Christlikeness, commitment, partnership, influence and numbers.”