Kay Goldsworthy

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Kay Goldsworthy

Archbishop of Perth
Archbishop Goldsworthy in 2019
Goldsworthy in 2019
ChurchAnglican Church of Australia
ProvinceWestern Australia
Elected29 August 2017
Installed10 February 2018
PredecessorRoger Herft
Other post(s)Metropolitan of Western Australia (ex officio)
Ordination9 February 1986 (as deacon)
by David Penman
7 March 1992 (as priest)
by Peter Carnley
Consecration22 May 2008
by Roger Herft
Personal details
Kay Maree Goldsworthy

1956 (age 66–67)
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
SpouseJeri James
Previous post(s)
Alma materTrinity College, Melbourne
Coat of armsCoat of arms of Kay Goldsworthy

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][6] 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.[7][8] In 1992 she was ordained as one of a group of Australia's first female priests by the then archbishop, Peter Carnley.[9][10] She served as rector of St David's parish, Applecross from 1995 to 2006. During this time she was appointed a canon[11] 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.[7] 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.[12][13][14] 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).[15] On 11 December 2014 she was elected to become the diocesan bishop of the Diocese of Gippsland and was installed on 21 March 2015.[16]

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".[17]

In 2017 Goldsworthy was elected Archbishop of Perth and installed on 10 February 2018 as the archbishop and metropolitan of Western Australia.[18]

She gave as her first priorities: properly responding to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, ensuring those who had been abused were cared for,[19] rebuilding trust in the church as a place of grace and healing,[20] addressing violence against women and children in the community,[21] supporting women in leadership positions[22] and listening to the views of Anglicans in the Perth diocese.

Views of other Anglicans[edit]

Women bishops[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.[23]

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.[9]

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.[24] 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.[25][19] 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."[8]

Archbishop Kay Goldsworthy preaching at Christ Church St Laurence

On 17 September 2023, as part of the Movement for the Ordination of Women 40th anniversary celebrations, Goldsworthy preached about God's grace and forgiveness at Christ Church St Laurence, Sydney, the first woman bishop to preach in an Anglican church in Sydney. In the lead up to the service, Julia Baird, journalist, former co-convenor of the Sydney Movement for the Ordination of Women, interviewed Goldsworthy and Michael Jensen on the current affairs program The Drum on 15 September[26] and on 16 September published an article in the Sydney Morning Herald about the Sydney diocese views on the ordination of women as priests and its refusal to recognise Goldsworthy as a bishop in its diocese.[27]

Same-sex relationships[edit]

Criticism of Goldsworthy's acceptance of people in same-sex relationships in the church has mainly come from the Diocese of Sydney.[28][29][30] She has said that she supports an "inclusive" approach to same-sex marriage[19] and voted in favour of same-sex marriage during Australia's plebiscite; however, she also stated that it was her personal view and not the official view of the church as an institution.[31] In Perth she appointed two men to clerical positions who were in (separate) same-sex civil partnerships, both of whom committed to the Faithfulness in Service code (maintaining chastity in singleness and faithfulness in marriage). In 2022, during the Lambeth Conference, she signed a statement in support of LGBT+ people within the Anglican Communion.[32]

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". Australia: ABC News. 29 August 2017.
  3. ^ Weber, David (10 February 2018). "Kay Goldsworthy makes history in Perth by becoming the world's first female Anglican Archbishop". Australia: 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 Charles Sherlock (16 April 2008). "Female bishop sets Church on wider path". eurekastreet.com.
  6. ^ "Who are our deacons". Movement for the Ordination of Women Newsletter 03 March 1987: Cover photo, 1, 3.
  7. ^ a b Ben Doherty (12 April 2008). "From epiphany to bishop". The Age. Melbourne.
  8. ^ a b "Australia's first woman bishop reignites row among Anglicans". The West Australian. 13 April 2008.
  9. ^ a b Gail Williams (11 April 2008). "Bishop Kay Goldsworthy – up close and personal".
  10. ^ "Australia's First Women Priests". National Pioneer Women's Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on 21 February 2008. Retrieved 17 April 2008.
  11. ^ "News of women who are priests". Movement for the Ordination of Women Newsletter 18 April 1994: 2.
  12. ^ Morris, Linda (23 May 2008). "Blessing of history, as first woman bishop consecrated". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 22 May 2008.
  13. ^ "Trinity alumna is Australia's first woman bishop", Trinity Today, no. 67 (May 2008):19
  14. ^ "Home | Journal of Contemporary Christian History". Thechristians.com. Retrieved 5 September 2017.
  15. ^ JOANNE MCCARTHY11 Mar 2013, 11 p.m. (11 March 2013). "First woman bishop nominated | Newcastle Herald". Theherald.com.au. Retrieved 5 September 2017.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  16. ^ Gippsland Times
  17. ^ "Officer (AO) in the General Division of the Order of Australia" (PDF). gg.gov.au. Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 September 2017. Retrieved 13 June 2017.
  18. ^ "Kay Goldsworthy to be Australia's first female Anglican archbishop". The Guardian. Australian Associated Press. 29 August 2017. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 4 August 2023.
  19. ^ a b c "Perth's new Anglican archbishop supports gay marriage". The West Australian. 29 August 2017. Retrieved 11 August 2023.
  20. ^ Halgren, Emma (2018). "Church a place of 'grace and healing' despite abuse scandals". In Ashby, Roland (ed.). A faith to live by. Victoria: Morning Star Publishing. pp. 53–55.
  21. ^ Lim, Anne (1 September 2017). "Top woman in Anglican church has charismatic roots". Eternity. Retrieved 11 August 2023.
  22. ^ "Meet Australia's first female archbishop". PerthNow. 4 February 2018. Retrieved 11 August 2023.
  23. ^ "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.
  24. ^ Jeremy Halcrow (25 November 2007). "Sydney firm on women bishops". sydneyanglicans.net. Archived from the original on 19 April 2008.
  25. ^ "Archbishop of Canterbury in Australia: Church is shamed by past and present divisions". www.churchtimes.co.uk. Retrieved 11 August 2023.
  26. ^ The Drum, 15 September 2023
  27. ^ Baird, Julia (15 September 2023). "Kay Goldsworthy is flying to Sydney. She won't be an archbishop when she lands. Argh, men". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2 October 2023.
  28. ^ "Same-sex relationships to be debated at next Australian General Synod". churchtimes.co.uk. Retrieved 26 August 2022.
  29. ^ "Sydney letter calls on Archbishop Goldsworthy to 'repent' over ordinations". www.churchtimes.co.uk. Retrieved 4 August 2023.
  30. ^ Baker, Jordan (11 May 2022). "'Fundamentally awry': bishops block move to reject same-sex marriage". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 11 August 2023.
  31. ^ "'God would oppose' the new female leader says WA bishop". The West Australian. 15 February 2018. Retrieved 24 July 2018.
  32. ^ Paulsen, David (3 August 2022). "Bishops who support full LGBTQ+ inclusion release statement from Lambeth Conference". Episcopal News Service. Retrieved 26 August 2022.

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