By John Martin

The Church in Wales has elected the first woman to serve it as a bishop. The Rev. Canon Joanna Penberthy, 56, rector of Glan Ithon near Llandrindod Wells, Powys, will become Bishop of St. Davids, succeeding the Rt. Rev. Wyn Evans, who has retired.

It took a 47-member electoral college two days to make the decision as it met behind locked doors in the historic St. Davids Cathedral. Canon Penberthy will become the 129th Bishop of St. Davids in Pembrokeshire, coastal mid-Wales.

The Church in Wales decided in 2013 to allow welcome women as bishops. The bishop-elect was educated at Newnham College in Cambridge and St. John’s School of Mission, Nottingham. She completed ordination training at Cranmer Hall, Durham, in 1983. The Most Rev. Barry Morgan, Archbishop of Wales, hailed the election as a historic moment.

Canon Penberthy began ministry as a deacon in Cardiff, serving from 1985 to 1989. She then filled non-stipendiary roles in Cardiff, St. Asaph and St. Davids between 1987 and 1995. She was the first woman appointed a canon of St. Davids Cathedral.

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