THE Church of South India has appointed its first woman
The announcement that the Revd Eggoni Pushpalalitha has been
elected as Bishop of Nandyal, South India, comes just days after
the Church of Ireland elected its first woman as the Bishop of
Meath Kildare (News, 27
Ms Pushpalalitha was consecrated as Bishop of Nandyal diocese on
Sunday, after being selected by a four-member panel.
She was ordained priest in 1984, and has served in villages and
as head of the Church of South India's women's fellowship. In a
statement, she said: "My parents had decided to dedicate me to the
Lord even before I was born, as they had already lost two sons. My
life has been God's mercy, and I wish to be his servant for
Among her priorities is the empowerment of women. "Be it any
institution, women are always given second-rung treatment. We need
to change that by promoting values that teach us to not to
discriminate and treat all humans the same.
"I hail from a village, and my parents sold their land to
educate me. I want every girl from such a background to get the
best education possible. Only education can change lives."
The Provincial Secretary of the Church of South India, Mani
Philip, told the Anglican Communion news service: "We have been
ordaining women since 1976." In its constitution, the province
mandates that at least 25 per cent of all statutory bodies should
be made up of women, he said.
The Bishop of Buckingham, Dr Alan Wilson, knows Bishop Pushpal,
as she will be known, well. The diocese of Oxford runs a charity
that builds capacity in schools in South India, and, as chairman of
the Board of Education for the diocese, he is a frequent visitor.
He said that Bishop Pushpal was a "remarkable person.
"She was the only female priest in the diocese, and she has
served there for 30 years. That she has been elected as bishop in
her rather conservative diocese really says a lot."