Devon’s first woman bishop consecrated in Canterbury Cathedral
DEVON’S first woman bishop was consecrated today in Canterbury Cathedral by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby.
Following the service, an enormous roar of cheers and applause burst out as they processed through the main doors of the Cathedral.
It was announced in June that Dame Sarah Mullally, a former nurse, would be the next Bishop of Crediton. She was the fourth woman to be appointed a bishop in the Church of England and was consecrated today alongside the next Bishop of Gloucester, Rachel Treweek.
Dame Sarah had a distinguished service in the NHS before ordination, culminating in her appointment as the government’s Chief Nursing Officer for England in 1999, when she was the youngest person to be appointed to the post.
She was ordained in 2001 and served her curacy in St Saviour’s Battersea Fields, initially as a self-supporting minister. She left her post as Chief Nursing Officer in 2004 to take up full time ministry becoming a Team Rector in Sutton, Surrey in 2006. In 2012 she was installed as Canon Treasurer at Salisbury Cathedral.
She was made a Dame Commander of the British Empire in 2005 in recognition of her outstanding contribution to nursing and midwifery.
Dame Sarah said she was delighted and humbled by her appointment.
After the service, she said: “It is so wonderful to hear the support from family and friends who have been with me on this journey.”
The Bishop of Exeter, the Rt Revd Robert Atwell, said he was thrilled to welcome Sarah to Devon.
“It’s a tremendous day for Sarah and the Church. It was wonderful to hear the support and love for the two of them as they left the Cathedral.”
A special welcome service for Bishop Sarah will be held in Exeter Cathedral on 12 September, to which everyone is invited. She will begin her ministry the next day, as she attends the ordination service where Bishop Robert will ordain 16 people to serve as new clergy across the diocese.
As Bishop of Crediton, she will primarily look after east and north Devon, though in common with the Bishop of Plymouth, she will minister across the whole diocese.
More photos from consecration of Bishop Sarah are available on our Facebook page.