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Former NHS chief nurse is named as the first female Bishop of London making her the most senior woman in the Church of England

Former NHS chief nurse is named as the first female Bishop of London making her the most senior woman in the Church of England
Former chief nursing officer Right Reverend Sarah Mullally is Bishop of London
The Queen approved her nomination to succeed the Rt Rev Richard Chartres
55-year-old was made Dame in 2005 for contribution to nursing and midwifery

By AMIE GORDON FOR MAILONLINE
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/
18 December 2017

A former chief nursing officer has become the most senior woman in the Church of England after being nominated as the new Bishop of London.

The Queen approved the nomination of Right Reverend Sarah Mullally to succeed the Rt Rev Richard Chartres in the Church's third most senior position behind the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, Downing Street announced.

The 55-year-old, who was made a Dame in 2005 in recognition of her outstanding contribution to nursing and midwifery, said it was a 'great honour'.

Before becoming Bishop of Crediton, she was chief nursing officer at the Department of Health and a parish priest.

The Rt Rev Mullally's appointment also allows her to take up a role in the House of Lords as part of the Lords Spiritual.

It marks another sign of progress for women in the Church after Libby Lane made history when she was consecrated as the first woman bishop in 2015.

The Rt Rev 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.'

She was ordained in 2001 and left her Government post in 2004, taking up a full-time ministry in the London borough of Sutton.

More churches should be led by female priests and those 'from black, Asian and minority ethnic groups', the new Bishop of London said.

The Right Reverend Sarah Mullally said the Church of England was undergoing a 'period of reflection', with the theme of diversity featuring heavily in her inaugural speech.

'If our churches are going to be more relevant to our communities, that means increasing churches that are led by priests that are women, who come from black, Asian and minority ethnic groups,' she said.

The former nurse acknowledged the division in the diocese of London over the ordination of female priests, and said she is 'very respectful of those who cannot accept my role as a priest or bishop'.

The current Bishop of Crediton said that now is 'a time to reflect on tradition and scripture' to offer a message of the 'inclusive love of Christ'.

'London is a very diverse city and I would hope that everybody can find a spiritual home and a place where they can encounter the love of Jesus Christ that I have come to know,' she said.

As she outlined her vision for the role, Ms Mullally also said she wishes to work with survivors of abuse in the Church to ensure that they 'not only survive, but flourish'.

'I will not only take my responsibility of safeguarding seriously, but I will continue to see that we have a culture which is safe, where there is no place for abuse,' she added.

The former civil servant also acknowledged the frustration felt among communities following the Grenfell Tower tragedy, as well as the 'deprivation and inequality' which divides the capital.

In 2012 she became Canon Treasurer at Salisbury Cathedral before becoming Bishop of Crediton in the diocese of Exeter in 2015, and is currently a member of the Church of England's national safeguarding steering group.

She will be installed as the 133rd Bishop of London at St Paul's Cathedral in the New Year.

Acting Bishop of London the Rt Rev Pete Broadbent said he welcomed the announcement of Bishop Sarah's appointment.

He added: 'She has proven qualities of leadership and commitment to collaborative working.

'Bishop Sarah's work in the public square uniquely equips her for the important outward focus that is required in leading the diocese in this great world-city.

'She also brings strong experience of parish and cathedral life, and sees her vocational experience as nurse, civil servant, priest and bishop as a totality.'

The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby, also tweeted a congratulatory message.

He wrote: 'Wonderful news - Bishop Sarah brings to this remarkable ministry in this great city an extraordinary experience and profound gifts, which are guided by her faith in Jesus Christ, who is the foundation of all that she is.'

Abby Day, Professor of Race, Faith and Culture at Goldsmiths, University of London, added: 'Her appointment has a nice ironic twist as her predecessor, Bishop Chartres, was criticised for not doing more to support the ordination of women priests and their appointment as bishops.

'She will be assuming a seat in the House of Lords, one of 27 reserved for bishops.

'It would be great if her reforming spirit turned to the problem of having a Christian-centric Lords in such a modern, multicultural country.'

*****

New Bishop of London Sarah Mullally reaches out to conservatives over sexuality and gender
Bishop Sarah Mullally has been announced as the next Bishop of London

By James Macintyre
CHRISTIANITY TODAY
Dec. 18, 2017

The new Bishop of London, Sarah Mullally, has emphasised the Church's traditional teaching on marriage and talked of her respect for conservatives who oppose women priests in carefully balanced comments that may still disappoint her liberal supporters.

Conceding that the sexuality question 'is a challenging issue not just for diocese of London' she reiterated the Church's position that marriage is between a man and a woman.

The comments to journalists come after a conservative church in the capital hinted that it could break away from the Church of England unless the new Bishop of London is orthodox on sexuality. William Taylor, the Rector at St Helen's Bishopgate, last week said his first question to the new Bishop of London would be to ask whether they are prepared to 'declare as sin what God calls sin' and to summon sinners to repentance.

Earlier, in a self-assured performance at a press conference at St Paul's Cathedral today, Mullally further reached out to conservatives who oppose women priests and bishops on theological grounds, saying she was 'respectful' of their position, while insisting that the Church must appoint more female and ethnic clergy.

Declaring herself 'delighted and slightly terrified' at the news, her statement focused on the role of women and ethnic minorities in the Church while avoiding comment on sexuality issues.

'I am very respectful to those [who] for theological reasons cannot accept my role as a priest or a bishop,' she said, adding, 'I am very aware that the appointment of a woman who is a bishop may be difficult.' However, she said: 'Churches need to represent the communities that they serve,' including women, black and ethnic minorities and disabled people.

Mullally emphasised that London is 'world-facing, multicultural, multi-faith [and]...open to all'. She talked of the 'deprivation and inequality' in the capital, where 'women are more likely to be unemployed'. She added that 'people feel marginalised' and added that anger remained over the Grenfell Tower disaster.

Repeatedly evoking the image of foot-washing as a metaphor for her desire to serve, she 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.'

She added that she wanted 'to serve' as 'a bishop not just of London but for London and for those who have faith and [those who have] no faith'.

Mullally, who said she was 'surprised' by her appointment, is being introduced to representatives from across the Diocese of London at St Paul's Cathedral this morning, before meeting staff and students at the Urswick Secondary School in Hackney, where 70 per cent of pupils are eligible for Pupil Premium Funding. As part of an initial tour of some of the parishes and projects at work in the Diocese, she will also be visiting a food bank preparing Christmas packages at St John's in Hoxton and she will be introduced to leaders from the Tower Hamlets Interfaith Forum, to discuss unity, solidarity, and the challenges that London's faith communities face together.

The group Women and the Church (WATCH) said it was 'immensely delighted' at the appointment.

The acting Bishop of London, Pete Broadbent said: 'I welcome the announcement of Bishop Sarah's appointment and look forward with excitement to working under her leadership as our diocesan bishop. She has proven qualities of leadership and commitment to collaborative working. Bishop Sarah's work in the public square uniquely equips her for the important outward focus that is required in leading the diocese in this great world-city. She also brings strong experience of parish and cathedral life, and sees her vocational experience as nurse, civil servant, priest, and bishop as a totality.'

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