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Another first for female bishops of the Church of England

Another first for female bishops of the Church of England

12039591_868425166568218_6550271008664498070_nA photo was tweeted today of the Rt Revd Sara Mullally, the Bishop of Crediton, a suffragan See in the Diocese of Exeter, leading an ordination service. She will be the first female Church of England bishop to ordain priests for the church. +Sarah ordained the Revd Leisa McGovern and the Revd Sheila Walker in the town of Ottery St Mary.

Bishop Sara has hit the ground running since coming to Dio Exeter. She attended the ordination of 16 deacons on 13 SEP, lead by the Rt Revd Robert Atwell, bishop diocesan of Dio Exeter and also attended by her fellow bishop suffragan, the Rt Revd Nick McKinnel, the Bishop of Plymouth. She was then installed as Bishop of Crediton on 16 SEP. Now 10 days later she is leading the ordination of new priests. Ipso facto, the Revds McGovern and Walker may also lay claim to the title of being the first female priests ordained by a female bishop in the Church of England.

The lone tweet back is from someone who doesn’t approve of the ministry of women in the Church of England. (Perhaps he fears the taint!) He responded that there are no women bishops in Christ’s Church.

Screen Shot 2015-09-26 at 4.13.54 PM
Click to enbiggen


Could anyone please check back later in the week to verify that indeed the towers of St Mary’s church haven’t fallen in!
Ordination photos from Dio Exeter’s Facebook page.
Tweet is a screenshot of Dio Exeter’s Twitter page.
Photo of St Mary’s Church is from the Ottery St Mary entry in Wikipedia.


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Anne Benedict

Girls and women can be acolytes. In the case of the Pope, most of the acolytes you see in big masses on TV are probably not lay people but priests or deacons already. Walk into any local parish mass and you will see women lectors, ushers, acolytes, and ministers of communion aplenty.

BTW, name me a few major Anglican hospitals or school systems with billion dollar budgets run by women. Nuns run many of them around the world. My parish’s entire religious education program is run by nuns.

Anne Benedict

Just checked wikipedia. It says there is one place in the US (in Lincoln Nebraska) that has male-only altar servers. All others have girls and women. The tradition is because altar-server was seen as a first step towards the priesthood, but it is not anymore. There are at least as many women running my local parish as there are men. Unlike the culture at large (and the Episcopal Church), however, we do not see men and women as interchangeable.

Leslie Summers

Gosh, Anne, it’s only “tradition,” kind of a big deal in the Catholic Church, anyway. I think you mis-heard, Please let me know which Vatican spokesman you were listening to. Having gone in the opposite direction as your husband, I assure you that we all have our reasons. I assume all converts have made reasoned and heart-felt decisions. Peace!

Anne Bay

In 500 years, this won’t be a big news story. It’s not a huge news story now actually. I was watching the news panel yesterday covering the Pope’s visit to Philadelphia, and even the Vatican spokesperson said there is nothing that prevents women from being ordained-it’s just “tradition.” It’s completely “man-made” and it’s amazing to me it wasn’t challenged sooner. I was also blown away in watching the Pope’s visit how few women in “higher places” for lack of a better phrase, there were. Every photo op and the coverage of the Mass are all males. No women acolytes, no women priests, no women bishops, no women cardinals, no women archbishops, and even the nuns were few and far between. The comment was made “where are the nuns?”-eventually they were pointed out here and there, but a very small number. Clearly, the whole Roman Catholic Church is male-powered. Being brought up Episcopalian and then going through all the changes since 1976, I admit I am a little spoiled! I’m used to seeing gifted, capable, educated, and amazing women in church roles that were before for males only. How ridiculous girls in the R.C. church can’t even be acolytes! My husband left the Roman Catholic Church as soon as he was 18 yrs. and couldn’t leave fast enough. He was received into the Episcopal Church many years later and was grateful for how different the Episcopal attitude of discussion, openess and not the oppressiveness he experienced growing up in the R.C. Church. We are different in many ways. Married clergy is the same thing. There is no reason not to have married clergy in the R.C. Church. I think that will change too-just give it 500 more years!

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