Church of England

New Bishop of London announced

Mon 18 Dec 2017
By Tola Mbakwe

Dame Sarah Mullally has been named as the new Bishop of London, making her the most senior woman in the Church of England.

In a shock selection Mullally will move from her current role as Bishop of Crediton in the South west of England.

The 55-year-old was the fourth woman bishop to be appointed in the Church of England when she became Bishop of Crediton in the diocese of Exeter in 2015.


Bishop Sarah said: “It is a great honour to be nominated to the See of London. Having lived and worked in London for over 32 years, the thought of returning here is about returning home.

"I am often asked what it has been like to have had two careers, first in the NHS and now in the Church.

"I prefer to think that I have always had one vocation: to follow Jesus Christ, to know him and to make him known, always seeking to live with compassion in the service of others, whether as a nurse, a priest, or a bishop.

"To be given the opportunity to do that now in this vibrant world-city is a wonderful privilege.”

The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby has welcomed her appointment. 


Bishop Sarah also made a major achievement in 1999 when she was appointed the youngest chief nursing officer at the Department of Health.

She was ordained in 2001 and left her Government post in 2004, taking up a full-time ministry in the London borough of Sutton.

She's served most of her ministry in the capital after training at the South East Institute for Theological Education.

In 2012 she became Canon Treasurer at Salisbury Cathedral and is currently a member of the Church of England's national safeguarding steering group.

Diocese of London


Bishop Sarah will be introduced to representatives from across the Diocese of London at St Paul’s Cathedral on Monday morning, before meeting staff and students at the Urswick Secondary School in Hackney, where 70 per cent of pupils are eligible for Pupil Premium Funding.

As part of an initial tour of some of the parishes and projects at work in the Diocese, Bishop Sarah will also be visiting a foodbank preparing Christmas packages at St John’s in Hoxton and she will be introduced to leaders from the Tower Hamlets Interfaith Forum, to discuss unity, solidarity, and the challenges that London’s faith communities face together.


Acting Bishop of London the Rt Rev Pete Broadbent said: "I welcome the announcement of Bishop Sarah's appointment and look forward with excitement to working under her leadership as our Diocesan Bishop.

"She has proven qualities of leadership and commitment to collaborative working.

"Bishop Sarah's work in the public square uniquely equips her for the important outward focus that is required in leading the diocese in this great world-city.

"She also brings strong experience of parish and cathedral life, and sees her vocational experience as nurse, civil servant, priest and bishop as a totality."

Bishop Sarah will succeed the Rt Revd and Right Hon Richard Chartres KCVO, who retired as Bishop of London earlier this year. She will be installed as the 133rd Bishop of London at St Paul’s Cathedral in the new year.

Click here to listen to Premier's Alex Williams speaking with Bishop Sarah Mullally who, towards the end of the interview, addressed concern some trainee clergy would be unhappy at being ordained by a female bishop:

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