Australian Anglicans name first female bishop in Queensland

(Photo Credit: Diocese of Melbourne)Archdeacon Alison Taylor, a Melbourne priest, was appointed Bishop of the Southern Region of the Diocese of Brisbane, making her the state of Queensland's first woman Bishop. The annoucement was made December 12, 2012.

The Anglican Church of Australia on Monday named the first woman bishop in the state of Queensland.

The Venerable Alison Taylor, Melbourne's Archdeacon for International Partnerships and Vicar of St John's Anglican Church Camberwell, was appointed to lead the Southern Region of the Diocese of Brisbane.

She will be consecrated Bishop in St. John's Cathedral in Brisbane on April 6, 2013, the Diocese of Melbourne said on Monday.

The Archbishop of Melbourne, Dr. Phillip Freier noted the appointee's ministry in the Diocese of Melbourne "has encompassed a breadth of experience as vicar and archdeacon."

Archdeacon Taylor said she was "sad" to leave the people at St. John's Cathedral but was "confident" they will soon find a replacement to lead them in 2013.

In 2009, Archdeacon Taylor was invited by the Archbishop of Canterbury to be a member of the Steering Group for the newly created international Anglican Alliance for Development Relief and Advocacy.

Archdeacon Taylor becomes the next in a short list of women bishops in the Anglican Church of Australia, a fact noted by the Primate of the Church less than two weeks ago following the decision of the Church of England to reject the entry of women into the episcopate.

The Anglican Church of Australia has ordained female priests for the past 20 years and in recent years opened the episcopacy to women. The Church of England began ordaining women priests in 1994.

"It hasn't been an easy journey to get to this point and while there are still some who take a contrary view, I am pleased to see the journeys of women priests now reaching into some of the highest levels of clerical officed in Australia," said the Most Rev. Dr. Phillip Aspinall, Primate of the Anglican Church of Australia.

"These include Bishops Barbara Darling from Melbourne, Genieve Blackwell from Wagga Wagga and Kay Goldsworthy from Perth, all of whom exercise greatly valued ministries and are excellent role models."

The Anglican Church of Australia and the Church of England are closely related but are governed separately and function independently of each other.

"It has now been over four years since the Australian church paved the way for women bishops and I hope that one day soon the Church of England will also benefit from the ministry of bishops who are women," Dr. Aspinall said.

He called on Anglicans in Australia to pray for the Church of England as it moved through this "difficult period."

Last week, a Church of England panel urged bishops to work on a process for submitting new proposals for female bishops at its general synod in July 2013

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