Ireland’s first female bishop focused on job, not “making history”

By Shelley Marsden

THE first female Anglican bishop of Britain and Ireland has been consecrated at Dublin’s Christ Church Cathedral.

The Most Rev Pat Storey, 53, former rector of St Augustine’s in Londonderry since 2004, was elected Church of Ireland Bishop of Meath and Kildare in September after Most Rev Richard Clarke, its former Bishop, became Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland.

She said after the consecration ceremony on Saturday that she was both “daunted” and “excited” about the future, and would be “depending on the strength of God” to do a good job.

She added that, though becoming the first female bishop was a “wonderful thing”, her focus would be on the job of being a bishop rather than “making history or anything like that”.

The bishop said she was “very comfortable in the Republic” having studied at TCD and lived at Cricken in County Dublin for ten years while her husband was rector there.

During the service, Rev Nigel Parker, rector at Bangor, County Down, spoke of the history-making bishop’s reputation for “pastoring with that disarming directness which speaks the truth in love, with a ready laugh and delightful sense of humour.”

The Most Rev Storey, who grew up in Belfast, is married and is a mother to Carolyn, 25 and Luke, 22. She studied French and English at Trinity College in Dublin and started training at the Church of Ireland Theological College in her mid-thirties, before being ordained deacon in 1997 and priest in 1998.

The Anglican Churches in Wales and Scotland can appoint woman bishops but have not chosen to do so yet. The Church in England is expected to discuss appointing women bishops next year or in 2015.


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