FOR the first time, a woman has been elected as the Anglican Bishop of Gippsland.
The Right Reverend Kay Goldsworthy was elected to the position by the Bishop Appointment Board, having served the Diocese of Perth since 1988, most recently as the Assistant Bishop.
She was the first woman consecrated as a bishop in Australia and only the second woman elected to lead an Anglican diocese in Australia.
The news comes a week after the Catholic Church appointed Patrick O’Regan as the Bishop of Sale.
Bishop Goldsworthy takes over the position from John McIntyre, who died unexpectedly in June, and was widely known for his progressive stand on social issues and indigenous ministry.
Bishop Goldsworthy is also interested and involved in social justice issues, but is best known for her wide-ranging pastoral and leadership skills and compassionate interest in people.
She said she was looking forward to her new role.
“I am deeply aware of the responsibility and privilege being given to me and look forward to working alongside the clergy and lay people of Gippsland in the mission entrusted to us all in Christ,” she said.
Bishop Goldsworthy will move to Gippsland in February and be installed at St Paul’s Cathedral, Sale, in late March.
Her initial focus will be getting to know people, visiting churches and communities and learning about the joys and challenges of ministry and mission in Gippsland.
“It will be hard for us to leave Perth, which has been our home for a long time now, but I know that I go with the love and prayers of people here,” Bishop Goldsworthy said.
“The Diocese of Gippsland is and will be in my prayers for this time of transition for us all.”
Bishop Goldsworthy was born in Melbourne.
She attended Croydon High and managed a restaurant in Melbourne before undertaking theological training at Trinity Theological College, Melbourne.
She has a Bachelor of Theology from the Melbourne College of Divinity, and holds advanced qualifications in clinical pastoral education.
In 1986, Bishop Goldsworthy was one of the first women ordained Deacon alongside 12 other women.
She worked as a deacon in the parishes of Thomastown and Deer Park in Melbourne’s western suburbs.
She moved to Western Australia in 1988 to take up the appointment as chaplain to Perth College, a position she held for seven years.
In 1992, Bishop Goldsworthy was ordained as one of the first female priests in Australia.
Other appointments she has held within the diocese are as Rector of St David’s in Applecross, Canon of St George’s Cathedral, and Archdeacon of Fremantle.
In 2007 she began work at the Perth Diocesan Office as the Archdeacon of Perth and Registrar of the Diocese.
In 2008, she became the first woman consecrated as a bishop in Australia.
She has been a clerical member of the Anglican Consultative Council while contributing to the national church on the General Synod Standing Committee and various General Synod commissions.
Bishop Goldsworthy is married to Jeri James and they have twin sons, Tom and Ben.