By John Martin in London

Sarah Mullally, who before her ordination as a priest was honoured by the Queen for services to nursing and midwifery, has been named as the fourth woman bishop in the Church of England.

Dame Mullally, 53, currently canon treasurer of Salisbury Cathedral, will be the next Bishop of Crediton, a suffragan post in Exeter Diocese in England’s rural west country.

When Mullaly became the government’s Chief Nursing Officer for England in 1999, she was the youngest person appointed to this post. She was made a Dame Commander of the British Empire in 2005 in recognition of her outstanding service to healthcare.

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Ordained in 2001, she served in non-stipendiary roles, then quit nursing to become a full-time rector in Surrey on the outskirts of London in 2006.

She will be consecrated in Canterbury Cathedral in July, alongside Rachel Treweek, the first woman to be appointed as a diocesan bishop, who will be Bishop of Gloucester.

“My calling as a Christian and now as Bishop has been shaped by my belief that we are called to be witnesses to the generous love of God and the good news of Christ Jesus,” she said in a comment posted on the Diocese of Exeter’s website.

Portrait of Dame Mullally by Ash Mills

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