AUSTRALIA’s third woman bishop was consecrated at the end of last month in St Saviour’s Cathedral, Goulburn, in rural New South Wales.
The Rt Revd Genieve Blackwell, 50, who trained at Moore Theological College, Sydney, and was ordained deacon in Sydney, has been appointed Assistant Bishop with responsibility for Wagga Wagga, the north-west and south-west of the diocese of Canberra & Goulburn.
The Archbishop of Sydney, Dr Peter Jensen, who once taught Bishop Blackwell at Moore College, said this week that while he admired her, he regretted that for “reasons of conscience” he was unable to participate in the consecration service. Instead, he had asked the next most senior bishop in the Province of New South Wales, the Rt Revd Brian Farran, Bishop of Newcastle, to officiate.
Among the 18 bishops who participated in the service was Australia’s second woman bishop, the Rt Revd Barbara Darling, a regional bishop in Melbourne.
Bishop Blackwell, who was ordained priest in the diocese of Bathurst in 1998, has served in parishes in the dioceses of Bathurst and Canberra & Goulburn. She said that it was “a great thing that the gifts of women are being recognised and confirmed as being able to be used in Christ’s service”.