THE number of Church of England women bishops is to rise to six, after two further appointments were announced this week.
The Archdeacon of Wiltshire, the Ven. Ruth Worsley, 53, is to be the next Bishop of Taunton, it was announced on Tuesday. She was "surprised and amused" to be chosen, she said, as she had grown up in a non-Anglican church where women were not allowed to lead. She is married to the Vice-Principal of Trinity College, Bristol, the Revd Dr Howard Worsley.
On Thursday, it was announced that the Vicar of St Peter's, St Albans, the Revd Anne Hollinghurst, is to be the next Bishop of Aston.
She worked previously as a youth worker in West Sussex and then Nottingham, and was Chaplain at the University of Derby and Derby Cathedral for six years. She is married to the Revd Steve Hollinghurst, a part-time tutor for the Church Army and a half-time consultant, trainer and researcher in mission and contemporary culture.
"Each step of my journey has been enormously exciting and stretching, and now I take a rather large gulp as I look towards this next step in ministry, to which I believe God is calling me," she said.
The same day, Dr Graham Tomlin was announced as the next Bishop of Kensington, in the diocese of London. He is currently the principal of St Mellitus College, a theological training centre in west London.
Dr Tomlin trained at Wycliffe Hall, in Oxford, before returning there as a tutor in historical theology and later becoming vice principal. In 2005 in founded St Paul's Theological Centre which eventually became part of the new St Mellitus College.
Married to Janet and with two adult children, Dr Tomlin will take up his new position in the autumn. The Bishop of London, the Rt Revd Richard Chartres, said that in both his teaching and his writing, Dr Tomlin demonstrated his "generous orthodoxy". Dr Tomlin added that it would be a privilege to serve a part of the diocese that is "growing and dynamic".