30 Aug 2008

Christchurch welcomes new female bishop

5:29 pm on 30 August 2008

About 1000 people gathered at the Christchurch Cathedral on Saturday afternoon to welcome the city's new bishop.

Canadian Victoria Matthews is the second woman to be elected a diocesan bishop in New Zealand.

Ms Matthews, a breast cancer survivor, narrowly missed out on being elected Primate of Canada last year.

She is a high level adviser to the worldwide Anglican Communion and was part of the Windsor Continuation Group, charged with maintaining church unity after divisions over same sex marriage and ordaining gay bishops.

In the 2½ hour ceremony, Ms Matthews led a prayer and offered communion to the congregation.

She will deliver her first sermon on Sunday.