Bishop of Crediton appointed 133rd bishop of London in move that will dismay conservatives in Church of England. A woman has been appointed as the bishop of London, the number three position in the Church of England, in a move that will delight campaigners for gender equality but dismay conservatives in the church.
Sarah Mullally, the bishop of Crediton, has been appointed the 133rd bishop of London, Downing Street announced.
Before becoming a priest, Mullally worked as a nurse in NHS hospitals in the capital, including St Thomas’s and the Royal Marsden, and became chief nursing officer in 1999. She was ordained as a priest in 2001. In 2005, she was made a dame in recognition of her services to nursing.
Mullally said: “It is a great honour to be nominated to the See of London. Having lived and worked in London for over 32 years, the thought of returning here is about returning home.
“I am often asked what it has been like to have had two careers, first in the NHS and now in the church. I prefer to think that I have always had one vocation: to follow Jesus Christ, to know him and to make him known, always seeking to live with compassion in the service of others, whether as a nurse, a priest, or a bishop.
“To be given the opportunity to do that now in this vibrant world city is a wonderful privilege.”
The diocese of London is one of the few areas in which C of E congregations are growing. It is a complex diocese with a formidable presence of conservatives, both from the Anglo-Catholic and evangelical traditions, who disapprove of women priests.
The previous bishop of London, Richard Chartres, declined to ordain priests of either gender to avoid stirring controversy. Two years ago, Mullally became the first female bishop to lead an ordination service when she ordained four clergy, three of whom were women.
Mullally will be introduced to representatives from across the diocese of London at St Paul’s Cathedral on Monday morning, before meeting staff and students at the Urswick secondary school in Hackney, where 70% of pupils are eligible for pupil premium funding.
As part of a tour of some of the parishes and projects at work in the diocese, Mullally will visit a food bank preparing Christmas packages at St John’s in Hoxton and will be introduced to leaders from the Tower Hamlets Interfaith Forum to discuss unity, solidarity, and the challenges faced by London’s faith communities.
Credit: The Guardian