A lesbian priest has made history as the first-ever woman to be appointed Bishop of Monmouth

Cherry Vann, the new Bishop of Monmouth

A lesbian, Anglican priest and first woman to ever hold the position has just become the new Bishop of Monmouth.

Cherry Vann was consecrated in front of more than 400 people in a ceremony at Brecon cathedral on Saturday, January 25.

According to The Church in Wales, in 1994 she was one of the first women to be ordained as a priest in the Church of England, and she lives with her civil partner Wendy and their two dogs.

Before she was elected as the Bishop of Monmouth in September, 2019, Vann served as Archdeacon of Rochdale, in the Diocese of Manchester, for 11 years.

She was consecrated by the archbishop of Wales, John Davies, and her friend reverend Robert Lawrence gave a speech at the ceremony.

He said: “What has characterised Cherry’s ministry has been to work positively with those who see things differently, for example her willingness to work with those who have been against the ordination of women, and (more recently) on the Pastoral Advisory Group on how the Church of England attends to human sexuality.

“Cherry’s formation and experience, as well as her insight and spiritual resources, equip her to lead on Mission and to be an ambassador of Christ, which means turning up and getting involved in the hard stuff.”

He added: “A bishop is a point of unity, except that in the church today we seem to find disunity when the bishop is a woman in a church where not everyone accepts the leadership of women.

“Or when the bishop is in a same-sex civil partnership in a church where not everyone accepts gay relationships. And where the bishop is English in a Welsh diocese.

Vann will be enthroned at Newport Cathedral on February 1.

Her consecration came just days after the Church of England’s House of Bishops released a new document, reaffirming its opposition to same-sex marriage and declaring that sex should only be for married, heterosexual couples.

The document stated: “The Church’s teaching on sexual ethics remains unchanged.

“For Christians, marriage – that is the lifelong union between a man and a woman, contracted with the making of vows – remains the proper context for sexual activity.”