Derbyshire’s first female bishop is consecrated at Canterbury

The new Bishop of Repton Jan McFarlane (centre) at her consecration with the Archbishop of Canterbury. Photo: Robert Berry/ Canterbury Cathedral.
The new Bishop of Repton Jan McFarlane (centre) at her consecration with the Archbishop of Canterbury. Photo: Robert Berry/ Canterbury Cathedral.

The new Bishop of Repton, the Right Reverend Janet Elizabeth McFarlane, was consecrated during an “awe-inspiring” service held at Canterbury Cathedral.

Ms McFarlane made promises to act as a pastor to the clergy and parishes under her care, to faithfully teach the Christian faith and doctrine of the Church of England, to strive for peace and to lead with gentleness and mercy.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Revd and Rt Hon Justin Welby, led the service.

Ms McFarlane will be welcomed to the diocese at a special service in Derby Cathedral during September. As the second most senior appointment in the diocese, she will be required to advise and consult with key people and organisations involved with the wellbeing of communities in Derbyshire.

“It’s difficult to put into words just what an awe-inspiring and emotional service we had in the beautiful and historic Canterbury Cathedral,” said Ms McFarlane, 51, who is the first female Bishop in the Diocese of Derby, and in the East Midlands, and the ninth female Bishop in the Church of England.

“I’m very grateful to all those who came along to support me on such a momentous occasion, and I’m greatly looking forward to beginning my new ministry in Derbyshire.”

Ms McFarlane was educated first at Sheffield University, where she trained as a Speech and Language Therapist, and then at St John’s College, Durham; and she trained for ordained ministry at Cranmer Hall, Durham.

She served her first curacy at Stafford in Lichfield Diocese from 1993 to 1996 and was among the first women to be ordained to the priesthood in 1994. From 1996 to 1999 she was Chaplain and Minor Canon at Ely Cathedral. Since 1999 she has been Director of Communications in the Diocese of Norwich.

From 2001 to 2009 she served as Chaplain to the Bishop of Norwich and was Archdeacon of Norwich from 2009. She combined her role as Archdeacon with the posts of Director of Communications and Warden of Readers. She has been a member of the General Synod since 2005.

Ms McFarlane is married to Andrew Ridoutt, a television cameraman. Her interests include exploring the beautiful British countryside, beaches and country pubs with Andrew and their rather mischievous Miniature Schnauzer, Edith. Ms McFarlane has contributed to several books of prayers and reflections for Church House Publishing and broadcasts regularly on local radio.

As Bishop of Repton she succeeds the Right Reverend Humphrey Ivo John Southern, MA, who became the Principal of Ripon College Cuddesdon, an Anglican theological college, in April 2015.