New Eve for church as child is made 'bishop'

A new child bishop has been chosen to lead services during Christmas at a town church.

All Saints Church in Midland Road, Wellingborough, decided to look for another young Christian to take on the role after the success of last year's scheme, which saw 13-year-old Wrenn School pupil Myles Simpson elected as the town's first child bishop.

Eve Crookenden Johnson, 13, who lives in Wellingborough and goes to Bishop Stopford School in Kettering, has been chosen as this year's child bishop.

She was enthroned by the Archdeacon of Northampton, the Venerable Christine Allsopp, in All Saints' Church yesterday.

Eve will hold office until Holy Innocent's Day on December 28 and will preside and say prayers at various services over Christmas.

She will also preach a sermon at the church's Christmas carol service on December 20.

The Rev Tony Lynett, vicar at All Saints Church, said: "It's superb to have a female child bishop.

"Eve was selected because she has all the gifts we were looking for in someone to fulfil this role – she is confident, she is well received by other children and has a great deal of respect from them, and she is someone who is regularly part of the family at All Saints.

"She's really excited, she's really wanting to put herself into the role so I think it's going to be good."

He said he was pleased Eve had become the church's first female child bishop because having a female in the role went against expectations.

He said: "I'm just very pleased that it's happening in this way and I'm particularly pleased it's a young lady, because that's probably a reversal of expectations.

"It's saying a child is actually very important when most structures try to suggest it's only adults who have a role to play.

"Children can make a huge contribution and need to be cherished in the community.

"When you have someone of the calibre of Eve and you come across some of the lady priests we have in the Church of England, you realise they are well worth every bit of confidence we can put in them."