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English priest shadows female bishops to learn job she can’t have-yet

English priest shadows female bishops to learn job she can’t have-yet

Adelle Banks of Religion News Service writes

The Rev. Sue Pinnington is on a five-week mission to compile a job description for a post she’s currently not able to have: bishop.


During a recent stay in the nation’s capital, the English priest shadowed Episcopal Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde, the first woman elected as the top leader of the Diocese of Washington. Outside a subway station, the two women imposed ashes on commuters for Ash Wednesday. Two days later, they heard the Dalai Lama at the Washington National Cathedral.

Both women said it was most important for Budde to show Pinnington the “bread and butter work” of a bishop, even though Pinnington’s Church of England does not allow women to serve as bishops — at least not yet.

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Kyle Matthew Oliver

It was a pleasure serving with Canon Pinnington at Ashes to Go with St. Paul's, K Street. I learned a lot from her that day. E.g.,

Passerby: "I'm Catholic, is there any kind of rule about me not receiving these?"

Kyle: "Well, not that I know of, certainly we don't--"

Sue: "Absolutely not, step right over here."

Wishing her project all the best!

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Matthew Buterbaugh+

I think this is a good thing that other provinces can learn what we have learned. Women bishops in the C of E are an eventuality, so they'll need to understand what it means to be a bishop and a woman. I also hope that she's able to shadow some bishops of the C of E (even though they are all men), since their polity is very distinct from ours and the job description will vary from those in the U.S.

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