Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Suffragan Bishop of Crediton: Sarah Elisabeth Mullally


Press release from Number 10

Suffragan Bishop of Crediton: Sarah Elisabeth Mullally

From:Prime Minister’s Office, 10 Downing Street
First published: 9 June 2015

The Queen has approved the nomination of Reverend Canon Sarah Elisabeth Mullally to the Suffragan See of Crediton, in the Diocese of Exeter.

The Queen has approved the nomination of the Reverend Canon Sarah Elisabeth Mullally, DBE, MA, MSc, BSc, RGN, DSc honoris causa Canon Residentairy and Canon Treasurer of Salisbury Cathedral in the Diocese of Salisbury, to the Suffragan See of Crediton, in the Diocese of Exeter, in succession to the Right Reverend Nicholas Howard Paul McKinnel, MA, on his translation to the See of Plymouth on 19 April 2015.

Notes for editors
The Reverend Canon Dame Sarah Mullally (aged 53) studied first at South Bank University for her BSc followed by a MSc and then at Heythrop College, University of London where she got her MA. She was awarded Honorary Doctorates of Science from Bournemouth University, (2004), University of Wolverhampton (2004) and University of Hertfordshire (2005) and was made a Dame Commander of the British Empire in 2005 for her contribution to nursing and midwifery. She is a late ordinand who before ordination was Chief Nursing Officer in the Department of Health. She trained for the ministry at the South East Institute for Theologian Education and served her first curacy at Battersea Fields in Southwark Diocese from 2001 to 2006. From 2006 to 2012 she was Team Rector at Sutton in Southwark Diocese. Since 2012 she has been Canon Residentiary and Canon Treasurer at Salisbury Cathedral.

Dame Sarah Mullally is married to Eamonn and they have 2 children. She has continued her interest in the health service, having been a non executive director at The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust and then at Salisbury NHS Foundation Hospital. She is a novice potter.


The Exeter diocesan website has this news item New Bishop of Crediton to be Dame Sarah Mullally. This states that she will be consecrated at the same service as Rachel Treweek, ie on 22 July 2015.

The Salisbury diocesan website has Canon Chancellor Announced as Bishop.

Posted by Peter Owen on Tuesday, 9 June 2015 at 10:09am BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Church of England

After some intense googling, it would appear that Dame Sarah has never said anything, ever, about LGBT issues - which is quite a feat in itself for a senior member of the clergy! It will be interesting to find out what she thinks when, inevitably, she is asked for her opinion.

Posted by: Laurence Cunnington on Tuesday, 9 June 2015 at 12:00pm BST

Battersea curate to Surrey incumbent to Salisbury Canon to Bishop. I wish her well and hope that she will support the multibeneficed clergy of her largely rural area.

Posted by: Fr William on Tuesday, 9 June 2015 at 1:03pm BST

Coming thick and fast...women bishops. Contrast this with provinces that elect women bishops. How much harder it is for women to get elected. Maybe TEC could learn from the C of E or those other provinces where bishops are elected could pass legislation insisting on a quota of women represented on the episcopal bench.

Posted by: robert ian williams on Tuesday, 9 June 2015 at 4:32pm BST

Thrilled! This is about highly talented women using their God given and recognised influence in God's church. I have no doubt she is the right person for this place.
Already we have highly diverse and gifted women in the House of Bishops.

Posted by: Tim S on Tuesday, 9 June 2015 at 5:35pm BST

Clergy are traditionally not dubbed on being made knights (or presumably dame) since it is inappropriate for clergy to bear arms, and do not use the honorific 'Sir' (or presumably 'Dame'). Canon Sarah was deaconed in 2001, priested in 2002 and made a DBE in 2005.

So I reckon she should not be called 'Dame' Sarah.

Posted by: Simon Kershaw on Tuesday, 9 June 2015 at 5:50pm BST

Clergy are traditionally not dubbed on being made knights...

On the other hand, I understand that a knight who is then ordained does use the title 'sir' (or Dame in the case of women). It would not do for the Dean of the Chapels Royal or the Dean of Westminster Abbey or the Clerk to the Closet to start calling themselves Sir or Dame, on receipt of the customary K/DCVO, but it could be argued that Dame Sarah has every right to use an honour which relates to what she did before she was ordained. I am sure that, as a Dame, she will not be expected to bear arms. although perhaps it is it is part of the new management drive in the Church of England to have armed bishops.

Posted by: Nigel LLoyd on Tuesday, 9 June 2015 at 6:51pm BST

I seem to recall that if someone is knighted or appointed a Dame BEFORE they are ordained, they keep the prefix. If they are ordained first they don't use the prefix but do use the post nominals (The Rt Revd John Smith KCVO). This is a relatively rare occurrence and I suspect Dame Sarah is unique in being both ordained and the recipient of a damehood...

Posted by: Philip Hobday on Tuesday, 9 June 2015 at 7:09pm BST

According to the official website of the British Monarchy, only knights receive the accolade (ie are dubbed with a sword).


So although dames have the same status as knights they are not knights and I see no reason for Canon Mullally not to be addressed as Dame Sarah.

Posted by: Peter Owen on Tuesday, 9 June 2015 at 7:41pm BST

Re-reading Simon's comment I see the ordination came first. My mistake. Peter's observation seems sensible - the restriction seems only to apply to male clergy who are knighted (because they cannot be dubbed on account of not being able to bear arms).

Posted by: Philip Hobday on Tuesday, 9 June 2015 at 7:48pm BST

The significance of this shouldn't be lost on some of us. Not the Dean, but the Chancellor of Salisbury for the purple. But may be a Suffragan See is not what the great June is hoping for?

Posted by: James A on Tuesday, 9 June 2015 at 8:36pm BST

Notwithstanding the advice in Ecclesiastes 7:10, I am wondering if it is a sign of the times, when even the Prime Minister's Office doesn't know how to spell "Residentiary".

Posted by: Jamie Wood on Tuesday, 9 June 2015 at 10:15pm BST

"The Queen has approved the nomination of Reverend Canon Sarah Elisabeth Mullally to the Suffragan See of Crediton, in the Diocese of Exeter"

The official press announcement has it as Simon Kershaw suggests but it would be lacking in courtesy to ignore her DBE when discussing her background etc. This by the way is an excellent and imaginative appointment which we need more of, female or male. Late ordinands were often regarded as not papabile, often not Oxbridge and/or Ripon Cuddesdon as well. The world has changed, for the better!

Posted by: Anthony Archer on Tuesday, 9 June 2015 at 10:31pm BST

Philip is correct that the order matters (thus "the Revd Sir Derek Pattinson" but not "the Revd Sir Diarmaid MacCulloch") and Peter is correct that the restriction does not extend to dames, who don't have the same martial history. Apparently it does not apply at all in the recently revived Australian honours, as Archbishop Moxon not long ago became "the Most Revd Sir."

Posted by: Geoff McLarney on Wednesday, 10 June 2015 at 1:07am BST

"Not the Dean, but the Chancellor of Salisbury for the purple"
James A
Contrary to the announcement above
"Canon Chancellor Announced as Bishop"
Surely, that should read .
"CanonTreasurer Announced as Bishop"?
So, James A it would seem to be
"Not the Dean but the Treasurer of Salisbury for the purple" which just goes to shew that, as portrayed in song in the great musical "South Pacific", "There is nothing like a Dame"!
But isn't it odd that from all those women whose names have been trail blazed for many years (not least "the great June" among them) as among the first to be consecrated - none have yet been preferred which again just goes to shew that the Good Book is correct when it says "Many are called but few are chosen".
Whenever, there is a vacancy on Augustine's throne - the Press usually correctly include the name of the chosen one among the runners and riders in the Canterbury Stakes but, to date, they have proved to be incorrect in their assumptions.
When Justin eventually hangs up his Primatial Cross, I wonder which of the growing band of women bishops will the Media consider to be worthy of inclusion in the next Canterbury Stakes?

Posted by: Father David on Wednesday, 10 June 2015 at 5:47am BST

@RIW, re "How much harder it is for women to get elected. Maybe TEC could learn from the C of E"

TEC went a mere 17 years from the first woman consecrated bishop, to a woman bishop consecrated the Primate. Do you think the CofE will see a female ABC (or even an ABY) in that amount of time? [I rather hope so, but am dubious.]

Posted by: JCF on Wednesday, 10 June 2015 at 6:44am BST

"How much harder it is for women to get elected..." You don't need to look as far as TEC to see this. Here in Ireland, we made provision for women bishops at the same time as priests and deacons; but no woman has ever been elected. We got Pat Storey after the House of Bishops appointed her after an election failed to reach consensus. The truth is that people say they want women bishops; but few are prepared to elect them. It's a bit like the reverse of all those 'secret Tory voters' who put David Cameron back in Downing Street.

Interestingly, Sarah Mullally is the first non-Evangelical woman to be appointed a bishop in the C of E.

Posted by: Michael Mulhern on Wednesday, 10 June 2015 at 9:08am BST

As Peter says, I'm reasonably sure knighted-after-ordination rule doesn't apply to dames-after-ordination; I would venture it is because a damehood is not so symbolic of warfare as a knighthood.

Posted by: DBD on Wednesday, 10 June 2015 at 11:40am BST

Some in this thread may be interested and encouraged to learn of last Saturday's election of a woman as (diocesan) Bishop of Montreal, Canada.

The electoral process had limited publicity, even within the diocese, let alone further afield. Their website announcement is equally muted:

The website of St George's Cathedral, Kingson, Ontario, where the bishop-elect is the Dean, has not yet announced the result which is subject to provincial episcopal approval.

However, there is a bit more below about this low-key election and the candidates:

I am told that the bishop-elect believes that Jesus rose from the dead - which orthodoxy, sadly, you can't always rely on...

Posted by: Peter Edwards on Wednesday, 10 June 2015 at 12:21pm BST

I think that the Church of England Episcopate could be 40 per cent women by 2025.....compared to the t paltry 12 per cent in TEC. I take your point about primate thou..as not all provinces ordain women, no doubt this will be a long time coming.

Posted by: robert ian williams on Wednesday, 10 June 2015 at 5:25pm BST

Isn't it interesting that both Dame Sarah and Glyn,Bishop of Beverley are both nurses.Surely the first time that two nurses have been bishops at the same time?I should think that multiples of teachers and lawyers have managed this

Posted by: michael on Wednesday, 10 June 2015 at 6:01pm BST

So is this the first female bishop in England not married to another priest (or bishop)? Nor did she attend Cranmer Hall.

Posted by: Simon Kershaw on Wednesday, 10 June 2015 at 10:28pm BST

Please, Geoff McLarney, Archbishop Sir David Moxon is a New Zealander, not an Australian. But you are still correct; from an antipodean perspective the whole debate about whether and when it is right for a priest or bishop to call themselves "Sir" or Dame" sounds rather ridiculous. While it is clearly true that knighthoods derive from military titles, it has been some centuries since that aspect of things has been relevant to the honours system. New Zealand has had two archbishops knighted. The one before Moxon was Paul Reeves, who resigned as our Archbishop to become Governor General. I am quite sure that both of them were knighted with a sword; it would have been nonsense otherwise in Reeves' case, as his new job specifically required him to "bear arms". As Governor General he had to dub various people as knights.

This discussion is similar to the one on other threads about new bishops, as to whether they are or are not entitled to wear red rochets. I expect we agree that Dame Sarah has enough doctorates (albeit honorary ones) that the question will not arise in this case. But while the rochet had its origins in academic dress for doctors, it has been the "uniform" for bishops now for so long that it seems churlish when its use is questioned if the bishop in question does not have a doctorate. Certainly all NZ bishops wear them, irrespective of their academic qualifications.

So let Bishop Sarah use her title when it seems appropriate (clearly she does not use it all the time now), and in my view, let Sir Diarmaid MacCulloch use his too. Both have earned them.

Posted by: Edward Prebble on Thursday, 11 June 2015 at 4:03am BST

"Please, Geoff McLarney, Archbishop Sir David Moxon is a New Zealander, not an Australian."

How embarrassing (especially for a Canadian)! I'm afraid I must have fused him in my mind with his predecessor at the Anglican Centre, who is an Australian. I did not realize NZ had brought back knighthoods as well. Under the "Nickle Resolution" successive Canadian governments have blocked (though not consistently) titled honours for Canadian citizens, with Lord Black of Crossharbour being obliged to renounce his Canadian citizenship in order to accept a peerage in his capacity as a British national.

Posted by: Geoff McLarney on Thursday, 11 June 2015 at 3:04pm BST

Funny how fascinated we seem to be with titles. Seems a bit incongruous in the Body of Christ, to me anyway.

Posted by: Tim Chesterton on Thursday, 11 June 2015 at 4:16pm BST

Apparently the pre reformation secular clergy were called SIR, and father was reserved for religious priests. Nuns were also out of respect addressed as Dame.

Posted by: robert ian williams on Thursday, 11 June 2015 at 4:46pm BST
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