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Church in Wales elects first female bishop

Church in Wales elects first female bishop

After a week of closed meetings at St Davids Cathedral, the Archbishop of Wales, Dr Barry Morgan announced that the Electoral College had chosen Canon Joanna Penberthy as the 129th Bishop of St Davids.  Canon Penberthy was one of the first women to be ordained as a priest in Wales in 1997 and is currently Rector of Glan Ithon, in the Diocese of Swansea and Brecon in Llandrindod Wells.

Dr Morgan said, “This is an historic moment for the Church in Wales as it hasn’t been possible to elect a woman bishop until now. But what is really important to stress is that Joanna wasn’t elected because she was a woman but because she was deemed to be the best person to be a bishop. She has considerable gifts – she is an excellent preacher and communicator, can relate to all sections of the community, is a warm, charismatic, caring priest and someone who is full of joy.”

In reaction, Canon Penberthy said; “I am immensely humbled and honored at the trust that has been placed in me. I am very much looking forward to returning to St Davids and serving God’s people as their Bishop. As the first woman to be elected to episcopal orders in the Church in Wales I hope that my ministry will be an expression of our common calling to live Christ.”

Canon Penberthy’s election remains to be formally confirmed by the Archbishop at a Sacred Synod service on  November 30. She will then be consecrated as a bishop at Llandaff Cathedral – the seat of the current Archbishop of Wales – on January 21 and enthroned in St Davids Cathedral on February 11.


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Martin Reynolds

Joanna Penberty is the first woman to be elected to the office of a bishop on theses islands.

Had the pleasure of renewing her acquaintance this summer when her lovely church was the venue for an all Wales meeting attended by the UK leaders of LGCM and Changing Attitude. Jane Ozanne spoke and sang quite movingly.

We were too busy catching up on family news to discuss how she felt about gay marriage.

Her new job will be a great challenge at a time when Christianity in Wales is fading away.
My village once hosted an Anglican Church a small RC chapel and eleven flourishing chapels. Only one of those faith communities still exists.
Often the Anglican church is the sole remaining Christian presence in hundreds of communities the length and breadth of Wales and they are mostly elderly and declining at an alarming rate.

Prof Christopher Seitz

I believe I read somewhere that she is a Cranmer Hall-Durham graduate — the school that gives us +Welby, +Wells, +Innes, et al. I am happy to be corrected…

Kelly Donovan

May the Lord bless her as she continues in His service. Sending best wishes from Brooklyn, NY, USA. +

Bryan upfield

Does the new bishop support same sex marriages?

Colleen Kellyginter

From Stevenson WA. USA, blessings and love dear sweet one on your charge as Bishop. This delights our hearts as women in Christ striving for equality. I pray for you peaceable moments.

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