20 September 2013
Rev Pat Storey first woman bishop in the British Isles
Rev Pat Storey, board member of the Evangelical Alliance and currently rector of St Augustine's in Derry, Northern Ireland, has become the first female bishop in the Church of Ireland. She is also the first woman to become a bishop in any of the Anglican churches of the British Isles.
The announcement of the new Bishop of Meath and Kildare came the day after the House of Bishops took the decision, and after the regular appointment mechanism failed to reach a decision earlier in the summer. The vacancy arose following Dr Richard Clarke's appointment as Archbishop of Armargh.
In response to the announcement Pat Storey said she was "excited and daunted" by the appointment.
"I have had an extraordinarily happy experience in St Augustine's and in this wonderful city, which I will be sad to leave. However, I count it an enormous privilege to begin a new phase of my ministry with the people of Meath and Kildare, and I look forward to working with the team of clergy who are already there.
"I would sincerely ask for your prayers for myself and my family, who are the best family in the world."
Peter Lynas, director of the Evangelical Alliance in Northern Ireland has welcomed the appointment:"I am delighted that Rev Pat Storey has been appointed as Bishop of Meath and Kildare. Pat's enthusiasm, gifting and commitment to the gospel will be a tremendous asset to the House of Bishops.
"We have greatly benefitted from Pat's wisdom as she has served on the UK Board of Evangelical Alliance for a number of years and on the local Executive. She will no doubt carry her passion for church unity and a society transformed by the gospel to her new post.
"We pray she will be blessed and be a blessing in her new ministry."
The Church in Wales took the decision recently to allow women to become bishops and the Anglican church in Scotland also permit their consecration, although neither have appointed a woman.
Following the failure of General Synod to support proposals for female bishops in November 2012, the Church of England is currently considering how to proceed.
The consecration and enthronement dates for Pat Storey will be announced in due course.