Kay Goldsworthy

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The Right Reverend
Kay Goldsworthy
Bishop of Gippsland
Church Anglican Church of Australia
Diocese Diocese of Gippsland
In office 21 March 2015 to present
Predecessor John McIntyre
Other posts Assistant Bishop in the Diocese of Perth (2008–2014)
Ordination 1986 (deacon)
1992 (priest)
by Peter Carnley
Personal details
Birth name Kay Maree Goldsworthy
Born 1956 (age 60–61)
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Denomination Anglicanism
Alma mater Trinity College, Melbourne

Kay Maree Goldsworthy (born 1956) is a bishop of the Anglican Church of Australia, currently serving as diocesan bishop of the Diocese of Gippsland in the south-eastern Australian state of Victoria.

Early life, education and ministry[edit]

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 the Anglican church's first female deacons in Australia[1] 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.[2][3] In 1992 she was ordained as one of a group of Australia's first female priests by the then archbishop, Peter Carnley.[4][5] She served as rector of St David's parish, Applecross from 1995 to 2006. During this time she was appointed a canon of St George's Cathedral and subsequently Archdeacon of Fremantle. In 2007 she was appointed Archdeacon of Perth and the registrar of the Diocese of Perth.

Ministry as bishop[edit]

In April 2008, Goldsworthy was chosen to become an assistant bishop in the Diocese of Perth by the archbishop, Roger Herft.[2] 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.[1][6][7][8] In 2013 she became the first woman already consecrated as a bishop, and the second Anglican woman, to be on a nomination list for election as a diocesan bishop in Australia (the Bishop of Newcastle election being the first).[9] On 11 December 2014 she was elected to become the diocesan bishop of the Diocese of Gippsland and was installed on 21 March 2015.[10]

Controversy at time of appointment[edit]

Women have served as Anglican bishops in a number of countries, including the United States, Canada and New Zealand, since 1989.[1]

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.[11]

A subsequent bishops' conference, in Newcastle, New South Wales, in April 2008, cleared the way for the first consecration of a woman as a bishop in Australia.[4]

Goldsworthy's appointment was opposed on conscientious grounds from some sections of the church, particularly in the Diocese of Sydney led by its then archbishop, Peter Jensen.[12] The Sydney diocese indicated that if Goldsworthy visited in an official capacity she would be unable to perform any duties as a bishop and could only act as a deacon.[citation needed] David Mulready, then 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."[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Charles Sherlock (16 April 2008). "Female bishop sets Church on wider path". eurekastreet.com. 
  2. ^ a b Ben Doherty (12 April 2008). "From epiphany to bishop". The Age. Melbourne. 
  3. ^ a b "Australia's first woman bishop reignites row among Anglicans". The West Australian. 13 April 2008. 
  4. ^ a b Gail Williams (11 April 2008). "Bishop Kay Goldsworthy - up close and personal". 
  5. ^ "Australia's First Women Priests". National Pioneer Women's Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on 21 February 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-17. 
  6. ^ Morris, Linda (23 May 2008). "Blessing of history, as first woman bishop consecrated". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2008-05-22. 
  7. ^ "Trinity alumna is Australia's first woman bishop", Trinity Today, no. 67 (May 2008):19
  8. ^ http://thechristians.com/?q=node/446
  9. ^ http://www.theherald.com.au/story/1356741/first-woman-bishop-nominated/?cs=12
  10. ^ Gippsland Times
  11. ^ "Report of the Appellate Tribunal : Reference on Women Bishops; 26 SEP 2007" (PDF). anglican.org.au. Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 July 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-17. 
  12. ^ Jeremy Halcrow (25 November 2007). "Sydney firm on women bishops". sydneyanglicans.net. Archived from the original on 19 April 2008. 

External links[edit]