A “serial protester” interrupted the ordination service of Reverend. Dr. Libby Lane, the first female bishop of the Church of England and St Peter’s alumna.
During the ceremony on 26th January, Reverend Paul Williamson stepped forward, shouting “not in the Bible” after the Archbishop of York asked the church if Mrs Lane should be ordained as a bishop.
Despite Reverend Williamson’s attempts, Lane was consecrated as Bishop of Stockport at Yorkminster, in front of 1,000 people.
A spokesperson for the Church of England said that the disruption had been “expected”. Williamson has spoken out several times against the ordination of women in the church, and sued the Dean and Chapter of St Paul’s Cathedral in 1997 for appointing a woman as a minor canon.
The announcement of Lane’s appointment came during the vacation period, following the decision of the Church of England this summer to allow women to take up the post of bishops within the church.
At the time, Reverend Dr. Pikethly, St Peter’s College Chaplain told The Oxford Student that “everyone at St Peter’s” was thrilled by the news. In an email to the student body, Master Mark Damazer said: “St Peter’s place in history has been given a massive jolt forward”
Lane studied Theology at St Peter’s and matriculated in 1986, just seven years after women were first admitted to the college. Her tutor, Billy Watson, is still active around St Peter’s today.