Norfolk's first woman bishop is announced

Bishop of Lynn designate, the Ven Dr Jane Steen.

Bishop of Lynn designate, the Ven Dr Jane Steen. - Credit: Diocese of Norwich

The Church of England has announced its first female bishop in Norfolk after the Queen approved the nomination.

The venerable Dr Jane Steen, who is currently Archdeacon of Southwark in London, will be the next Bishop of Lynn - making her the first female bishop in the county.

Dr Steen, who was born in 1964 and has more than 20 years' ministry in the Diocese of Southwark, will be the first suffragan bishop to be consecrated in Norwich Cathedral in more than 100 years - and possibly ever, said the Diocese of Norwich.

The new bishop said she was "honoured and delighted" to be joining the Diocese of Norwich with her husband Pip and to be called to be the next Bishop of Lynn.

Bishop of Lynn designate, the Ven Dr Jane Steen and husband Pip.

Bishop of Lynn designate, the Ven Dr Jane Steen and husband Pip. - Credit: Diocese of Norwich

Dr Steen said: "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."

She said she wanted to "listen and learn" and was impressed with local parishes and their efforts to support communities during the pandemic.

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The Rt Rev 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."

The new bishop studied at Newnham and Trinity Colleges, Cambridge, and Westcott House theological college, and has been the Archdeacon of Southwark since 2013.

She was previously Canon Chancellor of Southwark Cathedral and Director of Ministerial Education.

Suffragan bishops are usually consecrated in London and York, but this has been altered due to the pandemic and will take place on Wednesday, June 23.