First female Bishop of London appointed

  • First female Bishop of London appointed

First female Bishop of London appointed

Right Reverend Sarah Mullally has been appointed the first female Bishop of London, becoming the most senior woman in the Church of England.

When she is enthroned in the New Year, she will become the most senior female bishop in the Church of England, and will become a member of the House of Lords, the upper house of the UK Parliament; and the Privy Council, the ancient body which formally advises British sovereign on the exercise of the Royal Prerogative.

"If our churches are to be more relevant to our community, this means that we need churches that are led by priests who are women, who come from black, Asian and ethnic minority groups", Mullally said.

Mullally, who said she was "surprised" by her appointment, is being introduced to representatives from across the Diocese of London at St Paul's Cathedral this morning, before meeting staff and students at the Urswick Secondary School in Hackney, where 70 per cent of pupils are eligible for Pupil Premium Funding.

Traditionalists are likely to be unhappy due to their opposition to women being ordained, but she has been congratulated on her new title by a number of senior Church figures.

The Guardian reports that Mullally, who was appointed the 133rd bishop of London, the third position in the Church of England, on Monday, is "viewed as supportive of LGBT equality".

"During her two years in Devon, Sarah has made a huge impact on churches and communities, and transformed so much of the way the Diocese works". 'I am encouraged by the way she has recognised different theological positions on the ministry of men and women, ' he said.

Declaring herself "delighted and slightly terrified" at the news, her statement focused on the role of women and ethnic minorities in the Church while avoiding comment on sexuality issues.

The acting Bishop of London, Pete Broadbent said: 'I welcome the announcement of Bishop Sarah's appointment and look forward with excitement to working under her leadership as our diocesan bishop.

The Right Reverend Libby Lane became the first consecrated female bishop in January 2015 when she was made Bishop of Stockport.

"Having lived and worked in London for over 32 years, the thought of returning here is about returning home", she said.

The Rt Rev Mullally, a former NHS chief nurse, said the appointment was "a great honour".

As she outlined her vision for the role, Ms Mullally also said she wishes to work with survivors of abuse in the Church to ensure that they "not only survive, but flourish".

Raised and educated in Surrey and London, she is no stranger to making history.

Church leaders said in October that they have 1.2million followers each month who pray online.

Bishop Sarah, as she is known, will run the London diocese and also sit in the House of Lords.

A "proud" mother to Grace and Liam, both in their twenties, Bishop Sarah said her two children give her stability and, with her husband, have been "very supportive". "Churches such as Holy Trinity Brompton and St Helen's Bishopsgate are growing and planting, while, just last month, London's first new parish church for 40 years, St Francis, opened in Tottenham".