November 22: Bishop Penelope Jamieson’s Visit (1992)

On November 22, 1992, the Last Sunday after Pentecost, the Rt. Rev. Penny Jamieson, Bishop of Dunedin (NZ), visited the Church of the Epiphany and preached at the 11am liturgy. Penelope Ann Bansall “Penny” Jamieson was born in Chalfont St Giles, Buckinghamshire, England in 1942. She attended Wycombe High School and studied linguistics at the University of Edinburgh, before moving to New Zealand, her husband’s country of birth. She worked at the Wellington Inner City Mission while completing her doctoral thesis at Victoria University. In 1985 she was ordained to the priesthood and became assistant curate of St James’ Lower Hutt. After this she was vicar of Karori West –   Makara in the Diocese of Wellington. In 1990 she was elected to head the country’s southernmost diocese, the Diocese of Dunedin. She was consecrated a bishop on June 29, 1990. At her retirement 14 year later, Jamieson expressed her regret that no other woman had been elected a bishop in New Zealand.

Jamieson was the seventh Bishop of Dunedin in the Anglican Church of New Zealand from 1989 until her retirement in 2004. Jamieson was the second woman in the world to hold the position of bishop in the Anglican Communion and the first to be elected a diocesan bishop. On November 19, 1992, Bishop Jamieson joined Bishop Barbara Harris (the first female bishop in the Anglican Communion) at the consecration of Jane Holmes Dixon (the third female bishop) at Washington Cathedral. In the accompanying photograph from that occasion, Bishop Jamieson is on the left. Three days later Bishop Jamieson preached at Epiphany. All three of these pioneer female bishops visited Epiphany during their episcopacies.

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