​Photo courtesy Judi Cleary

Close to 70 Victorians travelled to Brisbane for the consecration of Alison Taylor as a bishop in St John’s Cathedral on Saturday.

They included Archbishop Philip Freier, Bishop Barbara Darling, Bishop Peter Hollingworth, Bishops John McIntyre, John Parkes and Garry Weatherill, The Dean of Melbourne Dr Andreas Loewe, Melbourne Archdeacons Neil Hicks and Richard Condie, numerous clergy, and more than 50 parishioners from Alison’s former parishes of St Dunstan’s, Camberwell and St John’s, Camberwell. 

Former Melbourne archbishop, Bishop Peter Watson, now living in retirement in Sydney, took part in the laying on of hands by a total of 22 bishops assisting the chief consecrator, Brisbane Archbishop, Dr Phillip Aspinall.

A former Victorian, Bill Ray, now the Bishop of North Queensland, preached at the service in the packed Cathedral.

Bishop Taylor is the fourth Australian woman bishop, and the 35th in the Anglican Communion. As well as Bishop Darling, Bishop Kay Goldsworthy from Perth and Bishop Genieve Blackwell from Canberra and Goulburn also participated.

Bishop Taylor told the Brisbane Times that she felt like “a bit like an accidental pioneer”. ‘‘I didn’t expect it, but on the other hand, I don’t expect to be the last woman bishop appointed in Australia,” she said.

‘‘I really want young women in the church to know that, if this is what they feel called to, they can have a very senior role.’’ She added that all churches benefitted from a leadership that was as inclusive of its membership as possible.

Bishop Taylor has been appointed as bishop of the southern region of Brisbane Diocese, an area that takes in southern Brisbane suburbs and reaches to the New South Wales border at Coolangatta - 47 parishes in all.

‘‘I want the parishes, the communities and the people in my area to feel confident about being Anglican, about being Christian, which isn’t always easy today,’’ she said.

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