Fourteen years after the Scottish Episcopal Church (SEC) formally opened the doors to the consecration of women to the episcopate, it has elected its first female bishop. Canon Anne Dyer, currently the Rector of Holy Trinity Church in Haddington, East Lothian, was elected as the new Bishop of Aberdeen & Orkney by the Province’s Episcopal Synod. It is the third “first” for Canon Dyer: In 1987 she was amongst the first group of women to be ordained to the diaconate in the Church of England’s Diocese of Rochester; and also amongst the first group of women in Rochester to be ordained to the priesthood in 1994.
Prior to ordination Anne Dyer read Chemistry at St Anne’s College, Oxford and was a business systems analyst with Unilever before training for ordained ministry at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford and studying theology at King’s College London.
The bishop-elect is a member of the Scottish Episcopal Institute Council and the provincial synod. She chairs the East Lothian Foodbank and is also a regular lecturer on the subject of fine art and theology.
“I am delighted to be elected by the bishops of the Scottish Episcopal Church to serve as bishop in the United Diocese of Aberdeen & Orkney,” she said. “It will be a privilege to lead the people of this diocese as they continue to make known the love of God to those in their communities and beyond.
“I am looking forward to both the challenge and excitement of serving and worshipping together in diverse locations across the diocese and to joining the College of Bishops.”
The Primus of Scotland, Mark Strange, the Bishop of Moray, Ross & Caithness, said that he was “delighted” with the appointment, adding: “Anne brings with her a wealth of experience in theological education and mission development, and has so many of the gifts sought by the diocese together with a deeply loving and generous personality.
“I am also delighted that those gifts have allowed us to elect a woman to our College of Bishops. Please pray for Anne, her family, for the congregation at Haddington and for the Diocese of Aberdeen & Orkney as they journey on in faith.”