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A Cumbrian first as the new Bishop of Penrith is consecrated

Hundreds of people have gathered at York Minster today (Wednesday 27 February, 2019) to witness the consecration of Cumbria’s first female bishop.

The Rt Rev Dr Emma Ineson, the former principal of Trinity Theological College in Bristol, is the new Bishop of Penrith in the Diocese of Carlisle – the Church of England in Cumbria.

She was consecrated during a two hour service presided over by the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, attended by more than 160 people from Cumbria and at which the Rt Rev Sarah Clark was also consecrated as Bishop of Jarrow in the Diocese of Durham.

Bishop Emma said: “It’s been a wonderful day. It’s been very special to worship with everyone, listen to a fantastic sermon and hear all those voices singing praise to God.

“’Hills of the North’ was one of the hymns that was sung and that seemed very appropriate for Cumbria and Durham!”

The service began at 11am with the processional hymn ‘Crown him with many crowns’. After prayers, the Bishop of Carlisle, the Rt Rev James Newcome, and the Bishop of Bristol, the Rt Rev Viv Faull, formally presented Bishop Emma for consecration prior to those other bishops present conferring a spiritual blessing by the laying on of hands.

Readings were taken from Malachi 2:5-7 and Matthew 11:25-30, read by the Rev Sandy Pearl, a Distinctive Deacon in Cumbria. The Church of England’s first female diocesan bishop, the Rt Rev Rachel Treweek, Bishop of Gloucester, who is a long-time friend of Bishop Emma, gave the sermon.

She told the congregation: “It seems a very, very long time ago that Emma first mentioned to me on a campsite at Lee Abbey that she was wondering if she was being called to ordination. Since then it’s been wonderful to see how her ordained adventure with God has unfolded among different people and places.

“As Sarah and Emma leave the service today, each with a pastoral staff in their hand, they do so because they are being ordained bishops to be shepherds of Christ’s flock, bishops of being ‘with’: being with God, with people and with place.”

During Communion, Toby Ineson, the 18-year-old son of Emma and her husband Mat, read the Welsh poet George Herbert’s Love Bade Me Welcome while musicians from Trinity College, later played two songs. Trinity College’s site manager Dave Snell has also made Bishop Emma’s pastoral staff.

In a reference to her close ties with Wales, where she spent her teenage years, Bishop Emma’s episcopal cross and ring have been made by a Welsh silversmith, based on a Celtic cross design.

Following the consecration she enjoyed a small celebration with family and friends, adding: “I’m very much looking forward to all that is to come in Cumbria.”

As part of her new role Bishop Emma will take an important lead in the county’s ecumenical vision and strategy God for All that:

By 2020 every person in Cumbria of all ages and backgrounds will have an opportunity to discover more of God and God's purpose for their lives, so that they will discover more of Jesus and the Good News and become followers of Jesus within a Christian community.

Since its launch in 2015 God for All has seen the creation of more than 30 new mission communities across the county, with a renewed focus on developing new lay and ordained leaders to support our churches, setting up fresh expressions of church, reaching out and connecting with those people who have no faith and nurturing and growing disciples who already know Jesus in their lives.

Commenting after the consecration, Bishop James said: “Personally I found the service hugely moving because it’s such a wonderful reminder of what the church is all about and what the bishop’s role is, in particular. For Emma this is a whole new chapter of her ministry and a very exciting and significant moment.”

Bishop Emma will be officially installed as the Suffragan Bishop of Penrith at a Service of Welcome and Installation at Carlisle Cathedral on Sunday 17 March at 3pm.


Notes to editors

The title of Bishop of Penrith is an historic one, dating back initially to 1888, and then to 1944. It simply designates the Bishop who assists the Bishop of Carlisle - in technical terms the Suffragan Bishop. The Bishop of Penrith lives in Kendal, and – with the Bishop of Carlisle – covers the whole Diocese of Carlisle which is pretty much the same as the County of Cumbria.

Information about the County and Diocesan Vision and Strategy can be found on: or


For more information contact Dave Roberts, Diocesan Communications Manager, on 07469 153658, 01768 807764 or at

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