Kay Goldsworthy

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Kay Goldsworthy

Archbishop of Perth
Archbishop Goldsworthy in 2019
Goldsworthy in 2019
ChurchAnglican Church of Australia
DioceseDiocese of Perth
In office10 February 2018 – present
PredecessorRoger Herft
Other post(s)Bishop of Gippsland (2015–2017)
Assistant Bishop in the Diocese of Perth (2008–2014)
Ordination1986 (deacon)
1992 (priest)
by Peter Carnley
Consecration22 May 2008
by Roger Herft
Personal details
Birth nameKay Maree Goldsworthy
Born1956 (age 64–65)
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Alma materTrinity College, Melbourne

Kay Maree Goldsworthy AO (born 1956)[1] is an Australian bishop of the Anglican Church of Australia. She is the current archbishop of Perth in the Province of Western Australia.[2][3] Upon her installation as archbishop, on 10 February 2018, she became the first female archbishop in the Anglican Church of Australia.[4] Previously, she served as diocesan bishop of the Diocese of Gippsland in the south-eastern Australian state of Victoria.[2]

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[5] 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.[6][7] In 1992 she was ordained as one of a group of Australia's first female priests by the then archbishop, Peter Carnley.[8][9] 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.[6] 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.[5][10][11][12] 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).[13] On 11 December 2014 she was elected to become the diocesan bishop of the Diocese of Gippsland and was installed on 21 March 2015.[14] In the Australian 2017 Queen's Birthday Honours List, Goldsworthy was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for "distinguished service to religion through the Anglican Church of Australia, as a pioneer and role model for women, to church administration, and to pastoral care and equality".[15]

Goldsworthy has said that she supports an "inclusive" approach to same-sex marriage.[16] She revealed in an interview that she voted in favour of same-sex marriage during Australia's plebiscite.[17] As a bishop in Gippsland, she appointed an openly gay priest in a same-sex partnership.[18]

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.[5]

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.[19]

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.[8]

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.[20] 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."[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Doogue, Geraldine (25 May 2008). "COMPASS: A Woman Bishop". ABC Religion & Ethics. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 4 May 2021.
  2. ^ a b ABC Online"Anglican Church appoints Australia's first female Archbishop Kay Goldsworthy". 29 August 2017.
  3. ^ Weber, David (10 February 2018). "Kay Goldsworthy makes history in Perth by becoming the world's first female Anglican Archbishop". ABC News. Retrieved 10 February 2018.
  4. ^ "First female Archbishop elected in Australia". Anglicannews.org. 30 August 2017. Retrieved 5 September 2017.
  5. ^ a b c Charles Sherlock (16 April 2008). "Female bishop sets Church on wider path". eurekastreet.com.
  6. ^ a b Ben Doherty (12 April 2008). "From epiphany to bishop". The Age. Melbourne.
  7. ^ a b "Australia's first woman bishop reignites row among Anglicans". The West Australian. 13 April 2008.
  8. ^ a b Gail Williams (11 April 2008). "Bishop Kay Goldsworthy - up close and personal".
  9. ^ "Australia's First Women Priests". National Pioneer Women's Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on 21 February 2008. Retrieved 17 April 2008.
  10. ^ Morris, Linda (23 May 2008). "Blessing of history, as first woman bishop consecrated". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 22 May 2008.
  11. ^ "Trinity alumna is Australia's first woman bishop", Trinity Today, no. 67 (May 2008):19
  12. ^ "Home | Journal of Contemporary Christian History". Thechristians.com. Retrieved 5 September 2017.
  13. ^ JOANNE MCCARTHY11 Mar 2013, 11 p.m. (11 March 2013). "First woman bishop nominated | Newcastle Herald". Theherald.com.au. Retrieved 5 September 2017.
  14. ^ Gippsland Times
  15. ^ "Officer (AO) in the General Division of the Order of Australia" (PDF). www.gg.gov.au. Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 September 2017. Retrieved 13 June 2017.
  16. ^ "Perth's new Anglican archbishop supports gay marriage". The West Australian. 29 August 2017. Retrieved 24 July 2018.
  17. ^ "'God would oppose' the new female leader says WA bishop". The West Australian. 15 February 2018. Retrieved 24 July 2018.
  18. ^ McCarthy, Joanne (22 February 2016). "Gay clergy 'tensions' before Anglican conference". Newcastle Herald. Retrieved 24 July 2018.
  19. ^ "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 17 April 2008.
  20. ^ Jeremy Halcrow (25 November 2007). "Sydney firm on women bishops". sydneyanglicans.net. Archived from the original on 19 April 2008.

External links[edit]

Media related to Kay Goldsworthy at Wikimedia Commons

Anglican Communion titles
Preceded by
Bishop of Gippsland
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Archbishop of Perth