Church of England's first female bishop: I'm a Strictly Come Dancing fan and use dance steps to explain my relationship with God

The Right Rev Lane, who was ordained as the Bishop of Stockport in January, said that dancing helps inform her understanding of incarnation

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The Independent Online

Libby Lane, the Church of England’s first female bishop, has revealed that she is a Strictly Come Dancing fan who uses dance steps to explain her relationship with God.

The Right Rev Lane, who was ordained as the Bishop of Stockport in January, said that dancing helps inform her understanding of incarnation – the doctrine of God assuming human form. 

She told the Radio Times that her love of dance remains – she never misses Strictly – and she still uses her dance training to help her “inhabit” the Bible stories, for example the crucifixion and the resurrection.

Bishop Lane, 48, took up dance as a schoolgirl in Glossop but instead of pursuing a career on stage she ended up studying theology at Oxford.

 

During a service, she said she engages with the words not just with her mind but with her body. “I did dance training – tap, ballet, modern – for 15 years, and so one of the things that is quite a significant part of my own relationship with God and my own spiritual identity is the sense of all of me, not just my head but my body as well, being able to relive those stories,” she told the magazine.

The saxophone-playing bishop stopped dancing when she realised she would not be able to do it at a professional level.

Bishop Lane said: “Dance did very particularly inform my theology of incarnation, of God being present in the physical and the goodness of God in things that are tangible and enfleshed and embodied.”

“I’m pushing 50 now, but I still dance on the inside. I don’t do much dancing on the outside any more, but my soul still dances on the inside,” she added.

Bishop Lane’s elevation was confirmed just a month after Church leaders made a historic vote to allow women into the episcopate.

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