Sunderland woman to be ordained an Anglican Bishop

Jim & Pat with the pectoral cross to be presented to Helen-Ann Credit: Keith Blundy

A woman from Sunderland is to be enthroned as the next Anglican Bishop of Waikato in New Zealand. The Revd Dr Helen-Ann Hartley is the first Church of England ordained female Bishop although she is no longer a member of the Church of England. She will become the seventh Bishop of Waikato.

On the same day, the new Bishop of Durham, The Right Revd Paul Butler, Bishop of Durham, will be enthroned at Durham Cathedral at a service of inauguration, where Helen-Ann served as an acolyte as a child.

Her parents Jim and Pat will be taking a special gift when they attend the service in New Zealand, a Cuthbert Durham Pectoral Cross, specially made by a Durham silversmith.

Bishop Helen-Ann was born in Edinburgh and moved with her family to Sunderland in 1975 when her father started working at Sunderland Polytechnic, now Sunderland University.

She is the fourth generation of her family to be ordained, and became a priest in 2005 in the Diocese of Oxford.