Sarah Mullally was a nurse before becoming a priest.
Sarah Mullally has been appointed to the post of Bishop of London. She is the 133rd bishop in the history of the city. Mullally will automatically enjoy a seat in the House of Lords. The bishop post also comes with the honor of being dean of royal chapels. She will succeed Dr. Richard Chartres, who retired from the bishopric in February. This appointment means that Mullally, presently Bishop of Crediton, a city located in Devon, will be third in the pecking order in the Church of England.
Mullally is not the first female bishop in the Church of England. Women were allowed to be appointed as bishops from 2014 by the CoE. The Right Reverend Libby Lane was the first woman bishop to be consecrated by the church in 2015. She was appointed to be the Bishop of Stockport.
Mullally, prior to becoming a priest, worked as a professional nurse in the NHS hospitals scattered all over London. Her resume includes the Royal Marsden and St. Thomas among others. In 1999, she was promoted to chief nursing officer. Mullally's ordination as a priest occurred in 2001. She was made a dame for her services to the nursing profession in 2005.
During her press conference held at St. Paul's Cathedral, Mullally admitted that in addition to being delighted, she was also a little terrified when she came to know about her new job. She showed tact and reached out across the many theological divisions fracturing the church. She publicly said that she wanted to serve both people of faith and also those who have no faith. Mullally told the assembled audience that it is a great honor for her to be nominated. As a veritable Londoner for living and working in the city for about 32 years, she felt like returning home to take up her appointment.
Shout out to the first female bishop of London!
Way to represent that sweet religion founded by a dude who divorced and beheaded his wives just to have an opportunity to move on to the next one!!
— Tommy Tighe (@theghissilent) December 19, 2017
For Mullally, the obstructions to her job are clear: London is a mosaic diocese with a large presence of conservatives derived from both the evangelical and the Anglo-Catholic traditions. These churchgoers do not like woman priests tendering to the faithful. She told the media, “I respect those that cannot accept my ministry as a bishop because I am a woman,” adding that the diocese comes with a theologically diverse population, and she would work with bishops of Maidstone and Fulham. Both of them minister to a conservative congregation.