On Saturday (May 12), Sarah Mullally became the first female Bishop of London, reported Asian Age. The 56-year-old is now the third most senior cleric in the Church of England (CofE).

133rd Bishop of London

The installation took place at St. Paul’s Cathedral on the International Nurses Day, the birthday of Florence Nightingale. This is significant as the new bishop’s former career was that of a nurse. As the 133rd Bishop of London, she followed the tradition of knocking three times on the cathedral’s Great West Door with her pastoral staff.

She is now the state church’s third most senior cleric, after the archbishops of Canterbury and York. In her sermon, Mullally pointed out the challenges that London is facing, particularly escalating knife crime, and referenced historical sexual abuse within the church.

“We need to speak up for the whole of London, to work to challenge the violence and the crime that have led mothers to clean their own children’s blood from our pavements. Could there be a starker image or a more urgent wake-up call for all who love this city, who believe it can have an even better future?”

Women have been appointed as priests in England since 1992. They make up a third of the clergy.

The CofE separated from the Roman Catholic Church in 1534. Also, it claims on having more than 40 per cent of people in England as members.

As the mother church of the global Anglican Communion, it has around 85 million followers in more than 165 countries. Anglican churches around the world have been appointing female bishops for years. The first one was appointed in the United States in 1989.

Reform enabling appointment of female bishops in 2014

In 2014, The Church of England’s general synod had given a final approval to a reform allowing female bishops. The approval came after years of complicated arguments between groups who opposed and supported the move. The CofE declared its first female bishop in January 2015.

Reverend Libby Lane was installed as the first woman bishop of the Church of England in 2015. Her nomination was approved by the Queen of England. She succeeded Reverend Robert Atwell. She previously served as the Dean of Women in Ministry for the diocese was ordained as a priest in 1994. Reverend Libby’s husband, George, is also a priest and they were ordained together.

Bhawana is an intern with SheThePeople.Tv

Picture Credit: Get Surrey

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