Spir­i­tu­al­ity of danc­ing

The Church of England - - COMMENT -

Danc­ing is cen­tral to the spir­i­tu­al­ity of the C of E’s first woman bishop. Libby Lane re­veals in this week’s Ra­dio Times that she did dance train­ing - tap, ballet, mod­ern - for 15 years and that when she reads Bi­ble sto­ries she wants to re­live them not just in her head but with a body as well. “I’m push­ing 50 now,” she tells Ruth Gled­hill, “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 never misses Strictly Come Danc­ing. Per­haps it is just as well that Bishop Libby doesn’t spend much time danc­ing be­cause she re­veals her present life is fully oc­cu­pied. Hun­dreds upon hun­dreds of re­quests are pour­ing into her of­fice from all over the world ask­ing her to ad­dress con­fer­ences, preach, speak at the UN or do in­ter views. She has a 20-year-old-daugh­ter and a son who is 18. Both are com­mit­ted Chris­tians. Her hus­band is a chap­lain at Manch­ester Air­port. There never has been any ri­valr y be­tween them, Bishop Libby tells Gled­hill. “The na­ture of our lives has been that we have ac­com­mo­dated and worked around the pri­or­ity of an­other’s vo­ca­tions at dif­fer­ent stages of our lives.” Asked about the ob­jec­tions to women bish­ops, Bishop Libby is clear: even op­po­si­tion is a gift. “I gen­uinely think the Church of Eng­land is a bet­ter place for hav­ing dis­sent­ing voices that are heard and hon­oured,” she says.

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