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
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.