Lesbian priest first woman appointed Bishop of Monmouth

Church in Wales/Facebook Hans Musil/Creative Commons

A lesbian, Anglican priest has just become the first woman to hold the position of Bishop of Monmouth in England.

More than 400 people attended Cherry Vann’s consecration at Brecon Cathedral on January 25.

Vann adds this achievement to her list of other accomplishments as a member of the Church of England.

Becoming a priest in 1994, Vann was also among one of the first women ordained by the C of E.

She lives with her civil partner Wendy and their two dogs, Macallan and Sadie.

Cherry Vann – a woman of the church

Vann served as Archdeacon of Rochdale in the Diocese of Manchester for 11 years and has been a longstanding member of the church.

But in September 2019, she was elected as Bishop of Monmouth, an opportunity which only opened to women in 2013.

The archbishop of Wales, John Davies consecrated Vann, and her friend, Reverend Robert Lawrence addressed those attending the ceremony.

“What has characterised Cherry’s ministry has been to work positively with those who see things differently,” Reverend Lawrence said.

“For example, her willingness to work with those who have been against the ordination of women, and on the Pastoral Advisory Group on how the Church of England attends to human sexuality.

“A bishop is a point of unity, except that in the church today we seem to find disunity when the bishop is a woman in a church where not everyone accepts the leadership of women.

“Or when the bishop is in a same-sex civil partnership in a church where not everyone accepts gay relationships,” he added.

Church of England’s stance on sex

Vann’s consecration comes at an awkward time for the C of E which last month released a pastoral guidance on sexual intercourse.

The Bishops said civil unions don’t reflect “God’s purpose for human beings” and therefore couples should abstain from sex.

Apparently straight married couples should be the only one’s having sexual intercourse.

“For Christians, marriage – the lifelong union between a man and a woman – remains the proper context for sexual activity,” the Bishops stated.

The bishops also assert blessings to those participating in civil partnerships will not be offered.

Newport Cathedral will enthrone Cherry Vann on February 1.

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Jade Fitzpatrick

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