A LAWYER from a York firm has officiated at a double consecration at York Minster.

Louise Connacher, of Lupton Fawcett, officiated at the consecration of two new bishops by the Archbishop of York, Reverend Stephen Cottrell.

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.

Louise joined the ceremony in her role as Registrar for the Diocese and Province of York, and read the Letters Patent from the Queen - the sealed document which mandates the Archbishop to consecrate a new bishop in the Northern Province of the Church of England.

The service was held with a strict limit on attendees, rather than the hundreds of guests who would usually be invited, due to Covid guidelines.

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.