A broad’s church

Hear that? It’s the sound of a (stained) glass ceiling being smashed by a lawyer, as Pump Court Chambers barrister Ruth Arlow is appointed as the first female chancellor of the diocese of Norwich.

Arlow is a specialist in family and civil law and – naturally – also has something of a focus on ecclesiastical law. She was installed at Norwich Cathedral by the Bishop of Norwich at the weekend. As chancellor, Arlow is the judge in the diocese’s ecclesiastical court. Much of a chancellor’s time is devoted to solving issues about developments carried out on land such as consecrated churches and churchyards.

As well as being the first female chancellor, at 37 years old Arlow is also being touted as the youngest diocesan chancellor in the UK. Bishop of Norwich Rt Rev Graham James gave Arlow his full backing, saying that “Ruth has a wise head on her young shoulders”.

It’s nice to see the church showing that it can be just as much about hers as hymns.


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