Lupton Fawcett lawyer Louise Connacher officiated at the consecration of two new bishops by the Archbishop of York, the Most Reverend Stephen Cottrell, at York Minster.
The Venerable Julie Conalty, previously Archdeacon of Tonbridge, was consecrated as the Bishop of Birkenhead and the Reverend Canon Sam Corley, previously Rector of Leeds, was consecrated as the Bishop of Stockport. The new bishops will serve the Church and the communities of the Diocese of Chester.
Louise was present at the ceremony in her role as Registrar for the Diocese and Province of York. Specifically, she read the Letters Patent from HM the Queen, which is the sealed document from the Queen which mandates the Archbishop to consecrate a new bishop in the Northern Province of the Church of England.
The service was held under careful guidelines because of the Coronavirus pandemic with a strict limit on the numbers attending, rather than the hundreds of guests who would usually be invited to attend.
Louise said: “It is a great honour to serve the church in the exciting and fulfilling role of Diocesan and Provincial Registrar and a privilege to take part in the ceremonies consecrating the new Bishops of Birkenhead and Stockport.
“Covid restrictions meant some changes to the usual consecration ceremony. It was a more exclusive service than it would usually be and the anointing of the candidate with holy oil, usually done by hand, was carried out using an ancient long handled anointing spoon.”
As Registrar for the Diocese, Louise also attended the Ordinations of Deacons in ceremonies held at the Minster during June. She administered the oaths that the ordinands are required to swear before the service, as well as confirming during the service that this had been done.
Lupton Fawcett’s ecclesiastical law practice is the largest in the north of England.
As well as being Registrar for the Diocese of York, Louise is legal secretary to the Archbishop and Registrar of the Province of York.
A lawyer with more than 25 years’ experience as a solicitor she advises on legal issues facing clergy, parishes and dioceses in the Church of England, as well as delivering seminars and training for ecclesiastical clients.
Louise is also registrar of the Diocese of Sodor and Man.