Church’s first female bishop keen to see election of more women for high-profile roles

A newly-appointed bishop – the first ever female to hold the role in the Scottish Episcopal Church – has said she would like to see more women elected.

Rev Canon Anne Dyer spoke to the Evening Express after being elected the new Bishop of Aberdeen and Orkney following a vote at the General Synod of the Scottish Episcopal Church on Thursday.

The Yorkshire-born cleric will be the first ever woman to take up the role in Scotland since the creation of the church in the 1580s.

Women have only been considered for election since 2003.

Canon Dyer, 60, said: “I am delighted to be elected by the Bishops of the Scottish Episcopal Church to serve as bishop in the United Diocese of Aberdeen and Orkney. I think women should provide leadership within every profession, so it would be very welcome to see more bishops.

“There are only seven dioceses in Scotland so a job like this doesn’t come up very often. In the future it would be nice to see more bishops in Scotland.”

Canon Dyer said she hopes to visit all 41 of her area’s congregations during her first year. She added: “It is a real privilege to be selected to take on the role. I am looking forward to helping people in the church community with love and care.”

The former business system analyst and University of Oxford graduate will be leaving her role as the Rector of Holy Trinity Church, in Haddington, East Lothian, after some six-and-a-half years in the role.

Canon Dyer added: “I am very sad to be leaving Haddington as I have had such a nice time.

“However, I am looking forward to starting, which will probably be in the new year.”

She takes over from the Rt Rev Dr Robert Gillies, who retires from the role of Bishop for Aberdeen and Orkney after nine years.

Canon Dyer said: “Robert has done a great job in his time in the Aberdeen and Orkney diocese so I must thank him for that.”

The Most Rev Mark Strange, Bishop of Moray, Ross and Caithness and Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church, said: “Anne brings with her a wealth of experience in theological education and mission development. I am also delighted that those gifts have allowed us to elect a woman to our College of Bishops.”