New user? Register here:
Email Address:
Password:
Retype Password:
First Name:
Last Name:
Existing user? Login here:
 
 
News >

Australia’s first woman bishop to be consecrated in Perth

by Muriel Porter, Australia Correspondent

Click to enlarge

First woman: the Ven. Kay Goldsworthy, who will be consecrated Assistant Bishop of Perth next month

First woman: the Ven. Kay Goldsworthy, who will be consecrated Assistant Bishop of Perth next month

THE Anglican Church of Australia is to have its first woman bishop. The Ven. Kay Goldsworthy, who is 51, and began her formal ministry as a deaconess in Melbourne in 1984, will be consecrated in St George’s Cathedral, Perth, on 22 May. She will be Assistant Bishop in the diocese of Perth, in the province of Western Australia, and will continue in her current post as Diocesan Administrator and Registrar, to which she was appointed last year.

The Archbishop of Perth, the Most Revd Roger Herft, announcing the appointment last Friday, said that Archdeacon Goldsworthy’s nomination had received the unanimous support of the Perth Diocesan Council. In Australia, assistant bishops are nominated by the diocesan bishop; the nomination requires the concurrence of the diocesan council.

“I am delighted that we in the church of Perth continue our unwavering commitment to Christ’s gospel by recognising women and men as equal partners in the world,” Archbishop Herft said.

Archbishop Herft is a member of the Appellate Tribunal, which last year found that there was no constitutional barrier to the appointment of women bishops in Australia (News, 12 October). The Bishops had earlier agreed to take no action until after their annual meeting, which was held last week in Newcastle, NSW.

The appointment came within a day of the bishops’ meeting, where guidelines were settled for alternative episcopal ministry for those opposed to women bishops. The guidelines “encourage” dioceses that appoint or elect women bishops to “make provision for reasonable and appropriate episcopal ministry” for those opposed.

In a statement, the Bishops said that they had “unanimously agreed to a way forward together on the divisive issue of the introduction of women bishops”. The Primate, Dr Phillip Aspinall, said that the agreement had been reached without dissent.

The appointment of Archdeacon Goldsworthy has been criticised publicly, however, by a diocesan bishop from her province, the Bishop of North-West Australia, the Rt Revd David Mulready. Bishop Mulready told the press: “I think it’s novel; I think it’s provocative; I think it’s divisive — and the Archbishop [Herft] knows all of that.” He said women bishops would be recognised only as deacons in his diocese, which (like four other dioceses) does not permit women priests.

The Archbishop of Sydney, Dr Peter Jensen, issued a statement saying he was pleased there had been “considerable goodwill” during the formation of the alternative-ministry protocols. “We have endeavoured to find a way forward with courtesy and respect.”

Archdeacon Goldsworthy, the mother of 17-year-old twin sons, has been a school chaplain and parish priest, a Canon of Perth Cathedral, an archdeacon since 1999, a member of the General Synod and its Standing Committee, and Australia’s clergy representative on the Anglican Consultative Council.

Job of the week

Chief Administrator

South East

CHICHESTER CATHEDRAL CHIEF ADMINISTRATOR The Chapter of Chichester seek applicants for the office of Chief Executive Officer, known as COMMUNAR The Communar is responsible for strategic financ...  Read More

Signup for job alerts
Top feature

A bountiful harvest grown in faith

A bountiful harvest grown in faith

In this extract from their new book, Susie Weldon and Sue Campbell tell the story of Christians and Muslims in Africa who are finding new ways to farm, based on their scriptures  Subscribe to read more

Question of the week
Should the UK take in more refugees fleeing Islamic State's terrorists?

To prevent multiple voting, we now ask readers to be logged in. This is free, quick and easy, honestly. Click here to login or register

Top comment

Corporate tax avoider? Shame on you, then!

It might be legal, but is it moral? Geoff Daintree on a new report that challenges people who pay as little tax as they can  Subscribe to read more

Sat 25 Oct 14 @ 10:55
'Moribund churches get the HTB treatment' http://t.co/Ul0Ya2u35j

Sat 25 Oct 14 @ 9:35
@alansc Hi Alan, We've done this for years. People wanted advance col for time to work on sermons. Col for 26/10 Readings is just below. HS