As the Church in Wales prepares to enable women to become bishops, Bishop Suffragan Gayle Harris of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts became the first female Anglican bishop to preside and preach in a Welsh cathedral.
“The church is not just enriched by women’s ordination, it’s more enabled and empowered by women’s presence,” she told Episcopal News Service during a telephone interview from the U.K. as she prepared for her historic participation in the 11 a.m. Eucharist service on Aug. 31 at St. Asaph Cathedral in Denbighshire, North Wales. “I see women bringing to the fore the desire that all people sit at the table of leadership, that all share in the benefits of the life of God. Nobody should be ignored or left out.”
Although the Church in Wales voted on Sept. 12, 2013, to allow women as bishops, it decided that church law would not be changed for one year to allow the Welsh bishops time to prepare a Code of Practice. The Church of England also made history when its General Synod, meeting last July, approved legislation to enable women to serve as bishops.
Bishop Gregory Cameron of the Diocese of St. Asaph invited Massachusetts Bishop Suffragan Gayle Harris to preach and preside at St. Asaph’s Cathedral. Photo: Nathaniel Ramanaden
Harris’s visit came at the invitation of Diocese of St. Asaph Bishop Gregory Cameron, who said he’s been surprised at how long it has taken the Church in Wales to take the step to ordaining women as bishops.
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