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Bishop Barbara Darling dies

20 February 2015


Much-loved: Bishop Barbara Darling 

Much-loved: Bishop Barbara Darling 

THE second woman to be appointed bishop in the Anglican Church of Australia, the Rt Revd Barbara Darling, died last Sunday, a week after suffering a stroke. Bishop Darling, who was 67 and had been a regional bishop in Melbourne, retired late last year.

A former schoolteacher and theological-college lecturer, she was licensed as a "trained woman worker" in Melbourne diocese in 1981. She was ordained deacon in Melbourne in May 1986, and appointed deacon-in-charge of a parish until the passing of the General Synod legislation in 1992 allowed women to become priests.

She was later vicar of two more parishes; a member of the General Synod and its Standing Committee; the first woman priest elected a canon of St Paul's Cathedral, Melbourne; and an examining chaplain.

In May 2008, nine days after the consecration of the first woman bishop in Australia, the Rt Revd Kay Goldsworthy, in Perth (News, 30 May 2008), Bishop Darling was consecrated in Melbourne. The Church's highest court, the Appellate Tribunal, had ruled in 2007 that women priests were eligible to be bishops.

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