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First Australian female Bishop appointed

The Archbishop of Perth, The Most Reverend Roger Herft, this morning announced the appointment of Australia’s first woman bishop.

Archbishop Herft said the way was cleared for women as bishops in October 2007 with the ruling that such appointments were in accord with the constitution of the Australian Church. This appointment was a logical progression of that decision.

“We expect this news will be greeted with joy and excitement among Anglicans and many others in Australia and beyond."

The National Bishops’ Meeting held in Newcastle this week established Protocols in respect of women in the episcopate.

Archbishop Herft said Archdeacon Goldsworthy was an outstanding candidate for the position.

“Her previous experience within the Diocese, including terms as school chaplain, canon of the Cathedral, parish priest, and archdeacon means she is one of the best qualified priests to take on this role at this stage.”

“In making this announcement I am delighted that we in the church of Perth continue our unwavering commitment to Christ’s gospel by recognising women and men as equal partners in the world," Archbishop Herft said.

“In 1992 Kay was one of the first women ordained to the priesthood in St George’s Cathedral by my predecessor, Archbishop Peter Carnley.

“That momentous occasion will be in everyone’s minds and hearts when Kay is consecrated bishop on 22 May in the same cathedral.”

Archdeacon Goldsworthy said she was both humbled and deeply honoured by the appointment.

"Since the first consecration of a woman bishop in 1989, women have been serving with distinction alongside men as bishops in many parts of the Anglican Communion – a development long taken for granted,” she said.

“Australia has been a while catching up, but our time has come, and I know that the great majority of Australian Anglicans will warmly welcome this day.

“Indeed, I am conscious of many other Christians, not to mention people of other great religious traditions, who are simply delighted that leadership in the Church can be shared in this way.

“On a more personal note and putting my natural fears and sense of inadequacy to one side, I am trying to trust the Church discerning me as a bishop, and I simply rely on God’s grace as I face the future."