Rachel Treweek

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The Rt Revd
Rachel Treweek
Bishop of Gloucester
Diocese Diocese of Gloucester
In office 2015–present
Predecessor Michael Perham
Other posts Archdeacon of Northolt (2006–2011)
Archdeacon of Hackney (2011–2015)
Lord Spiritual (2015–present)
Ordination 1994 (deacon)
1995 (priest)
Consecration 22 July 2015
by Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury
Personal details
Birth name Rachel Montgomery
Born (1963-02-04) 4 February 1963 (age 52)
Broxbourne, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom
Nationality British
Denomination Anglican
Spouse Guy Treweek (m. 2006)
Profession Speech therapist
family therapist
Alma mater University of Reading
Wycliffe Hall, Oxford

Rachel Treweek (née Montgomery; born 4 February 1963) is an Anglican bishop, a Lord Spiritual, and a former speech and language therapist. Since June 2015, she has been Bishop of Gloucester, the first female diocesan bishop in the Church of England. From 2011 until 2015, she was the Archdeacon of Hackney in the Diocese of London.

Early life and career[edit]

Treweek was born Rachel Montgomery on 4 February 1963.[1] She was educated at Broxbourne School, a state school in Broxbourne, Hertfordshire.[2] She studied at the University of Reading and graduated in 1984 with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in linguistics and language pathology.[3][2] [4]

Treweek's first career was as a speech and language therapist. After six years as a paediatric speech therapist in the National Health Service, she left her job to begin training for ordination in the Church of England.[5][6]

Ordained ministry[edit]

Treweek studied for ordained ministry at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford, an Anglican theological college, and graduated with a Bachelor of Theology (BTh) degree in 1994. She was ordained in the Church of England as a deacon in 1994 and a priest in 1995.[3] From 1994 to 1997, she served a curacy at St George and All Saints Church, Tufnell Park, London. From 1997 to 1999, she remained at St George and All Saints Church as the associate vicar.[7] In 1999, she was appointed vicar of St James-the-Less, Bethnal Green, London.[8][6] In addition to the incumbency, she was appointed the continuing ministerial education officer for the Diocese of London.[3]

In 2006, Treweek left parish ministry on her appointment as the Archdeacon of Northolt; this made her one of six archdeacons in the Diocese of London.[9] She held the position for five years before becoming the Archdeacon of Hackney on 14 May 2011.[3] She relinquished this appointment on confirmation of her appointment as Bishop of Gloucester on 15 June 2015.[10]

In September 2013, Treweek was elected as one of eight "participant observers" of the House of Bishops as the observer representing the South East of England.[11] The observers are senior female priests who will attend and participate in meetings of the House of Bishops until six female bishops have been appointed.[12] She attended her first meeting of the House of Bishops of the General Synod of the Church of England on 9 December 2013.[13]

Episcopal ministry[edit]

On 26 March 2015, it was announced that Treweek was to become the next Bishop of Gloucester, the diocesan bishop of the Diocese of Gloucester.[2] Though there have been two female bishops appointed previously, she is the first woman to be appointed a diocesan bishop, rather than as a suffragan bishop.[14] She is the first female bishop in the Province of Canterbury, jointly with Sarah Mullally, Bishop of Crediton.[15] On 15 June 2015, her election was confirmed during a sitting of the Arches Court of Canterbury at St Mary-le-Bow, City of London.[16][10] At this point, she legally became the Bishop of Gloucester.[17] On 22 July 2015, she was consecrated a bishop by Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, during a ceremony at Canterbury Cathedral.[18] She and Sarah Mullally were the first women to be ordained as bishops at Canterbury Cathedral.[19] On 19 September, she was installed at Gloucester Cathedral as the 41st Bishop of Gloucester.[20][21]

Following the Lords Spiritual (Women) Act 2015, she will become the first female bishop to enter the House of Lords as a lord spiritual.[14] She became eligible to take her seat when parliament reconvened in September 2015 after its summer recess and will succeed Tim Stevens (former Bishop of Leicester).[22][23] She sent back the first version of her writ of summons because it referred to her as a “right reverend father in God”.[24] On 26 October 2015, she was introduced to the House by Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, and Richard Chartres, Bishop of London.[25][26]


Treweek believes that God should be considered to be neither male nor female and tries to avoid using gender-specific pronouns when referring to God.[27]

Personal life[edit]

In 2006, Treweek married Guy Treweek. He is a Church of England priest and was priest-in-charge of two parishes in the City of London at the time of her appointment to the episcopate.[28]


  • Rachel Montgomery (until 1994)
  • The Reverend Rachel Montgomery (1994–March 2006)
  • The Reverend Rachel Treweek (March–May 2006)[29]
  • The Venerable Rachel Treweek (May 2006–2015)
  • The Right Reverend Rachel Treweek (2015–present)


  1. ^ Treweek, Rachel. Who's Who 2014 (November 2014 online ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc. Retrieved 19 May 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c "The Bishop of Gloucester Designate". About the Diocese. Diocese of Gloucester. Retrieved 26 March 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Treweek R". Crockford's Clerical Directory (online ed.). Church House Publishing. Retrieved 26 March 2015.  (subscription required)[dead link]
  4. ^ 20 July 2015. "New Bishop of Gloucester Rachel Treweek to be first woman in the Church of England to be consecrated as a diocesan bishop". Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard. Retrieved 21 July 2015. 
  5. ^ Gledhill, Ruth (26 March 2015). "Church of England appoints first female diocesan bishop". Chrisitian Today. Retrieved 29 March 2015. 
  6. ^ a b "The Archdeacon of Hackney, the Venerable Rachel Treweek, announced as the next Bishop of Gloucester". Communications. Diocese of London. 26 March 2015. Retrieved 26 March 2015. 
  7. ^ "Diocese of Gloucester: Venerable Rachel Treweek". Press release. Prime Minister's Office, 10 Downing Street. 26 March 2015. Retrieved 26 March 2015. 
  8. ^ "Archdeacons", Diocese of London website.
  9. ^ Gregory, Julia (18 May 2011). "New Archdeacon of Hackney is appointed". Hackney Gazette. Retrieved 27 March 2015. 
  10. ^ a b Bingham, John (16 June 2015). "Belle bells in Bow as Church of England celebrates first female diocesan bishop". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 16 June 2015. 
  11. ^ "First Female Representatives to House of Bishops Elected". Media Centre. The Church of England. 26 September 2013. Retrieved 26 March 2015. 
  12. ^ Davies, Madeleine (7 February 2013). "Women dignitaries to be elected as Bishops' 'participant observers'". Church Times. Retrieved 19 December 2014. 
  13. ^ "(Photo) Female observers join House of Bishops meeting". Christian Today. 9 December 2013. Retrieved 26 March 2015. 
  14. ^ a b Ward, Victoria (26 March 2015). "Church of England names first female bishop to sit in the House of Lords". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 26 March 2015. 
  15. ^ "Rachel Treweek to become the new bishop of Gloucester". BBC News. 26 March 2015. Retrieved 26 March 2015. 
  16. ^ Archbishop of Canterbury — Diary: Bishop of Gloucester — Confirmation of Election (Accessed 27 May 2015)
  17. ^ Working with the Spirit: Choosing Diocesan Bishops: a Review of the Operation of the Crown Appointments Commission and Related Matters page 81, section 5.24 (Accessed 27 May 2015)
  18. ^ "Consecrations - Bishops of Gloucester and Crediton". Archbishop's diary. Archbishop of Canterbury. Retrieved 21 July 2015. 
  19. ^ First female diocesan bishop in C of E consecrated. Anglicannews.org. Retrieved on 23 July 2015.
  20. ^ "First female bishop to represent church in the House of Lords". BBC News. 13 October 2015. Retrieved 14 October 2015. 
  21. ^ "New Bishop of Gloucester Rachel Treweek visits All Saints' Academy in Cheltenham". Gloucestershire Echo. 26 March 2015. Retrieved 14 October 2015. 
  22. ^ The Lord Bishop of Leicester (Valedictory Speech) (16 July 2015). "Freedom of Religion and Belief". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). United Kingdom: House of Lords. col. 779–780. 
  23. ^ "House of Lords Recess dates". House of Lords FAQs. Parliament.co.uk. Retrieved 22 July 2015. 
  24. ^ "'God is neither male nor female', says first female bishop to sit in the House of Lords". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 November 2015. 
  25. ^ "Future business: Monday 26 October at 2.30pm". House of Lords Business. Parliament.uk. Retrieved 23 September 2015. 
  26. ^ "Gloucester bishop Rachel Treweek to take seat in Lords". BBC News. 26 October 2015. Retrieved 26 October 2015. 
  27. ^ "'God is neither male nor female', says first female bishop to sit in the House of Lords". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 November 2015. 
  28. ^ Caroline, Davies. "Church of England appoints most senior female bishop". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 March 2015. 
  29. ^ St Martin's (West Acton) Magazine — February 2006 (Accessed 8 November 2015)
Church of England titles
Preceded by
Christopher Chessun
Archdeacon of Northolt
Succeeded by
Pete Broadbent (acting)
Preceded by
Lyle Dennen
Archdeacon of Hackney
2011–15 June 2015
Preceded by
Michael Perham
Bishop of Gloucester
15 June 2015–present