Grafton Diocese making history for gender equality

BIG STEPS: Rev. Anne Goode (right) was ordained by Bishop Sarah MacNeil at Grafton’s Christ Church Cathedral on Saturday.
BIG STEPS: Rev. Anne Goode (right) was ordained by Bishop Sarah MacNeil at Grafton’s Christ Church Cathedral on Saturday.

THE Grafton Diocese has made church history yet again by removing one of the last impediments for Australian women seeking full equality in the Anglican Church.

Saturday saw the first ordination by a woman, Bishop Sarah MacNeil, at the Christ Church Cathedral in Grafton.

Fittingly, the person being ordained was also a woman; Anne Goode from Dorrigo.

Dr MacNeil said it didn't occur to her what a historic occasion the event would be until Friday.

"It really is an honour and privilege to ordain people, but then for it to be such a historic occasion as well just added to that whole thing," she said.

"It's terrific to see - just step by step.

"There was no sense of moving anything through quickly or unduly.

"It was just the natural consequence of being a female bishop and having an ordinand who was ready for ordination."

Friends, family and spectators came from across the diocese and interstate to see Ms Goode ordained as a deacon of the Grafton Diocese.

She will continue working in the parish at Coffs Harbour and maintain a hospital chaplaincy at the Coffs Harbour Health Campus.

It is believed Rev Anne is the first Anglican from Dorrigo to be ordained in the 100-year history of the parish.

Dr MacNeil made history in March last year when she became the first Australian woman to be installed as a diocesan bishop.

Prior to that, some women had been consecrated in Australia as assistant bishops or bishops, but not as diocesan heads.

The Diocese of Grafton stretches from Port Macquarie to the Queensland border.


Topics:  anglican church bishop gender equality

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