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Woman to be Bishop of Swaziland

26 July 2012

THE Revd Ellinah Wamukoya was elected as the next Bishop of Swaziland on Thursday of last week.

It is the first time a woman has been appointed a bishop in the Anglican Church of Southern Africa (ACSA) or within the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa.

Ms Wamukoya, who is 61, was elected from five nominated candidates by a two-thirds majority, among both clergy and laity, in the Elective Assembly in Swaziland. Her election has to be confirmed by the Synod of Bishops of the ACSA. She will succeed the Rt Revd Meshak Mabuza, who retired at the end of last year.

The Archbishop of Cape Town, the Most Revd Thabo Makgoba, said that the election of Ms Wamukoya was "a great joy. When it was announced that she had received the necessary votes, there was great rejoicing both that a person of undeniable skills and personal qualities had been chosen, and that it was Ellinah herself, who obviously commands considerable respect and affection across the diocese of Swaziland. . .

"It is rather fitting that the diocese of Swaziland should elect our first woman to be a bishop, since it was here, 20 years ago, that, amidst both tears and joy, our Provincial Synod agreed that both the priesthood and episcopate should be open to men and women."

Ms Wamukoya was, until recently, the town clerk of Manzini Munici-pal Council. She was ordained in 2005, and served as Priest-in- Charge of the University of Swaziland.

She said: "I am humbled by the trust and confidence placed on me by the people of Swaziland, a person like me of humble beginnings. My prayer is to be able to listen and be guided by the Holy Spirit in everything I do."


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