Thinking Anglicans

Bishop Barbara Harris

Bishop Barbara Harris, the first woman to be consecrated as a bishop in the Anglican Communion has died.

Anglican Communion News Service Tributes paid following death of Barbara Harris – the Anglican Communion’s first female bishop

The New York Times Barbara Harris, First Woman Ordained an Episcopal Bishop, Dies at 89

The Washington Post Barbara C. Harris, first female bishop in Anglican Communion, dies at 89

The Episcopal News Service RIP: The Rt. Rev. Barbara C. Harris, Anglican Communion’s first female bishop, dies at 89

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Judith Maltby
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Judith Maltby

What a giant! I remember so clearly when the news of her election reached the UK; I was on the staff of Salisbury & Wells Theological College at a time when women were still excluded from the priesthood and had only recently entered the ordained diaconate – what a spiritual morale boost! Over all the time that has past, I sometimes ponder the providence behind the fact that the first (Anglican) woman ordained a priest was Chinese, Florence Li Tim Oi, and the first bishop, an African-American, +Barbara. Florence had to travel through enemy lines to be ordained priest during… Read more »

Janet Fife
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Janet Fife

I was on the staff of Bradford Cathedral when Barbara’s election was announced, and my (male) colleagues at the daily offices kept praying anguished prayers about division, schism, dire consequences etc. When my turn came to lead prayers I thanked God that 2000 years of injustice had finally come to an end, and can still remember the strangled ‘Amens’ forced out by those colleagues. (Now I know that there were female priests in the early Church, but in the 1980s that knowledge was still hidden from many of us.) Some years later Barbara visited England and met with the female… Read more »

Jim Pratt
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Jim Pratt

I was a parishioner in the Diocese of Massachusetts for much of her tenure, and had the good fortune to meet her on several occasions. She was forceful in expressing herself, but also full of grace and gentleness. Recognizing the opposition to women in the episcopacy, at the beginning of her episcopal ministry she pledged never to visit parishes to which she was not invited. Before her retirement, she had visited every parish in the diocese. I was present when she visited the last holdout, a neighboring parish to my own with which we were involved in discussions on cooperation… Read more »