First female bishop consecrated in Wales

The first female bishop has been consecrated in Wales in a move hailed as the culmination of a "long and hard journey".

Joanna Penberthy was ordained as the 129th Bishop of St Davids at a bilingual service at Llandaff Cathedral, Cardiff, on Saturday.

Archbishop of Wales, Barry Morgan, who conducted the service, said in his sermon: "The consecration of the first woman as a diocesan bishop demonstrates clearly that the Church in Wales acknowledges that women as well as men can now be ordained as bishops... but it has to be remembered that Joanna's election was determined not by her gender but by her gifts."

He added: "It has been a long and hard journey for women - first to be made deacon, then priest and now bishop."

Newly consecrated Joanna Penberthy with the other serving Welsh bishops. Credit: PA

Some 500 people witnessed the historic moment at the Church in Wales and cheered her exit.

She said: "I didn't think at the beginning of my ministry that I would ever see women in the episcopate but you had to keep believing.

"What was important was living out the calling that we had at that time and, by doing so, opening people's eyes to the fact that God doesn't just call men, God calls all of us to his ministry in a way which fits our own particular gifts and talents."

The Church decided to allow female bishops in 2013.

The country's newest bishop has held several roles in the Welsh clergy, including the rector of Glan Ithon.

In November last year, she was elected to be Wales' first female bishop by members of the electoral college.

She will be enthroned at St Davids Cathedral, west Wales, on February 11.