"Hey, have you seen the new Bish? I wonder if she is a dish?"
"Would you judge her on her looks if she was a bloke?
Or would you be interested in her views on theology and commitment to social justice?
Poor woman! All she wants to do is serve God! She will get judged as much for her looks as her work! How long before some of the well meaning editor is offering her 'fashion advice' - showing what she would like if she did her hair differently..."
"Hmmm...but I suppose they are going to quote her EVERYTIME there is an issue that affects women!"
"Well, like a man would know better? She was Dean of Women in Ministry in her Diocese since 2010. I guess she will be well qualified to speak on behalf of women on the grounds of both experience and gender!"
"Fair enough! But she doesn't get to sit in the House of Lords..."
"Not yet, change happens slowly. Not all Bishops get to sit in the House of Lord's either!"
"Why have the picked her to be Bishop in the Diocese she is already serving in?"
"She is going to be a trailblazer.
She will undoubtably encounter resistance, sadly.
It makes sense to give her all the help she can get,
by keeping her in a Diocese where she already has good relationships to build on."
"I had never heard of her before the announcement!"
"How many Bishops have you heard of, before they are appointed?"
"She looks quiet and competent.
I remember talking to a male member of the clergy,
and asking him if he felt daunted by his role,
and he didn't but reflected that was a male perspective.
I thought that the quote from the new Bishop of Stockport was interesting - she said
"I am grateful for, though somewhat daunted by, the confidence placed in me by the Diocese of Chester. This is unexpected and very exciting. On this historic day as the Church of England announces the first woman nominated to be Bishop, I am very conscious of all those who have gone before me, women and men, who for decades have looked forward to this moment. But most of all I am thankful to God.
Men and women complement each other.
Maybe a bloke would not have admitted to feeling daunted by such an appointment,
in case it was perceive as a sign of weakness.
I am reminded of Mary, honoured by being chosen, and aware of the implications.
For both of these women, life will never be the same again,
but they will both be aware of God guiding them in the tasks he has called them to do.
May we also be aware of God guiding us in the tasks he has called us to do."
" Amen - just one more question...If Libby does ever get to serve in the House of Lord's as one of the Bishops, will she be a female Lord Bishop, or a Lady Bishop?"
"Time will tell!"