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Kay Goldsworthy

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Kay Goldsworthy is a bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Perth, Western Australia. In April 2008 she was chosen to become an assistant bishop in the diocese by the Archbishop of Perth, Roger Herft. [1] She became the first woman to be consecrated as a bishop in the Anglican Church of Australia at St George's Cathedral, Perth on 22 May 2008. [2][3][4]


Goldsworthy was born and raised in Melbourne where she studied theology at Trinity College from 1980 to 1983. In 1986 she was ordained as one of Australia's first female deacons[4] and served as curate at parishes in Thomastown/Epping and Deer Park/St. Albans before moving to Western Australia to become school chaplain at Perth College in Mount Lawley.[5][1] In 1992 she was ordained as one of group of Australia's first female priests by the former archbishop, Peter Carnley.[6] [7] She served as rector of St David's parish, Applecross from 1995.

Women bishops

Women have served as Anglican bishops in a number of countries - including the United States, Canada and New Zealand - since 1989.[4]

In September 2007, the Australian church's appellate tribunal ruled that there was no constitutional impediment to women becoming bishops, but agreed to defer any appointments until 2008. The report of the appellate tribunal considered the following questions:

Question 1: Is there anything in the Constitution which would now prevent the consecration of a woman in priest's orders as a bishop in this Church in a diocese which by ordinance has adopted the Law of the Church of England Clarification Canon 1992?
Answer: As regards diocesan bishops: No, provided that the woman has been duly elected as the diocesan bishop and has had her election duly confirmed in accordance with the criteria for canonical fitness set out in s74(1) of the Constitution.[8]

A subsequent bishops' conference, at Newcastle, New South Wales in early April 2008, cleared the way for the first consecration of women bishops in Australia.[6]

Goldsworthy's appointment has been opposed on conscientious grounds from some sections of the church, particularly in the Diocese of Sydney led by Archbishop Peter Jensen.[9] The Sydney diocese has indicated that if Bishop Goldsworthy visited in an official capacity she would be unable to perform any duties as a bishop and could only act as a deacon . David Mulready, bishop of the Diocese of North West Australia, said "I come from a part of the Anglican Church that takes the Bible seriously and believes that the Bible prohibits what is about to happen ... I think it's novel, I think it's provocative, I think it's divisive and the archbishop knows all of that."[5]

Goldsworthy has denied comparison between the struggle for recognition of women and that of homosexuals in the Anglican Church and has declined to share her personal views on homosexual recognition.[10]

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 Ben Doherty (12 April 2008). "From epiphany to bishop". The Age. 
  2. Morris, Linda (2008-05-23). "Blessing of history, as first woman bishop consecrated". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2008-05-22. 
  3. "Trinity woman is Australia's first female bishop". Trinity College, Melbourne. 11 April 2008. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Charles Sherlock (16 April 2008). "Female bishop sets Church on wider path". 
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Australia’s first woman bishop reignites row among Anglicans". The West Australian. 13 April 2008. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 Gail Williams (11 April 2008). "Bishop Kay Goldsworthy - up close and personal".,21598,23522719-2761,00.html. 
  7. "Australia's First Women Priests". National Pioneer Women's Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2008-04-17. 
  8. "Report of the Appellate Tribunal : Reference on Women Bishops; 26 SEP 2007" (PDF). Retrieved 2008-04-17. 
  9. Jeremy Halcrow (25 November 2007). "Sydney firm on women bishops". 
  10. "New bishop at odds with boss over gays". AAP. 2008-05-23.,21985,23747780-5005961,00.html. Retrieved 2008-05-23. 

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