Second female Anglican bishop elected by Southern Africa

By ACNS staff
Posted Oct 5, 2012

[Anglican Communion News Service] A South African woman has been elected as the second female Anglican bishop in Africa. The Rev. Canon Margaret Vertue, the senior priest in a diocese which includes most of the poorer suburbs of greater Cape Town, was elected bishop of the Diocese of False Bay on Oct. 3.

The second of two women elected to the episcopacy in recent months, Vertue was one of the two first woman priests to be ordained in Cape Town by Archbishop Desmond Tutu 20 years ago.

Archbishop Thabo Makgoba, primate of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, said, “I am absolutely delighted that the Rev. Canon Margaret Vertue has been elected the next bishop of the Diocese of False Bay.

“Margaret was my junior when we were both training for ordination at the College of the Transfiguration, then St. Paul’s, and I have worked closely with her on the board of HOPE Africa. She is well known, respected, and liked throughout Southern Africa, and we thank God for this new chapter in her life and ministry, and the life of False Bay diocese.”

The Archbishop heard the news while attending the Anglicans Ablaze conference in Johannesburg, the largest gathering from across the whole Anglican Church of Southern Africa in living memory.

Vertue, who will replace Bishop Merwyn Castle. and the Rev. Ellinah Ntombi Wamukoya, bishop-elect of Swaziland, are scheduled to be ordained and consecrated as bishops together by Makgoba in early 2013.

“In the last few months, we have had four episcopal elections, electing two women and two men,” said Makgoba. “It seems the Holy Spirit is not finished with us, but is taking us further onwards into this new stage of our church’s life. We give great thanks to God.”


Comments (4)

  1. Very Rev Elizabeth B. Muturi- KENYA says:

    It is humbling to see the direction the Spirit is taking the Church. It is a calling to all of us to embrace this and listen to God ,that we may do that which He want us to do. To our sisters who God has given this noble ministry ,be blessed; and He who has called you is faithful and He will do it. He has promised to be with you to the end of the time. Congratulations.

  2. Marylin Day says:

    Finally the Church will have generous representation from the other half of the human race. Congratulations!

  3. May God continue to bless these holy women as they shepherd their people in the southern part of Africa! Glorious, spirit-filled people have broken ground in a place that has so strenuously rejected the gifts of women, and how wonderful to know that a new day has begun.

    When I visited Malawi in 2010, it was so obvious that the people appreciated women clergy, though the places I went had never seen one. They were surprised and delighted, welcoming me with open arms. We women have different gifts perhaps, but God gives all of us, men and women in the priesthood, the spiritual gifts to lead our congregations and dioceses.

    May God bless you and your work/calling, my sisters!

  4. Lynn Marini says:

    Amen to The Rev. Judith Jones. May our richly bless each of these women in South Africa. What a great witness to other places where women and their ministries are being repressed.

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