Trinity alumna appointed Queensland's first woman bishop

The Venerable Alison Taylor (TC 1993), Vicar of St John's Anglican Church Camberwell, Archdeacon for International Partnerships, and former Archdeacon of Kew, has been appointed as Queensland's first woman bishop.

Announcing her appointment last year, Archbishop of Melbourne, Philip Freier said, ‘Alison Taylor's ministry in the Diocese of Melbourne has encompassed a breadth of experience as vicar and archdeacon. I am delighted that her leadership, developed with the Diocese of Melbourne, now takes her on to this senior role in Brisbane.’

Along with Bishop in the Diocese of Perth, Bishop Kay Goldsworthy, Archdeacon Alison Taylor studied at the Trinity College Theological School (TCTS) graduating in 1999. For most of her time at Trinity, the Director of the School was the Revd Dr Richard McKinney. Alison remembers that the Revd Dr Evan Burge was Warden of the College at the time.

‘He was an excellent priest and a very fine Greek scholar,’ she said.

‘Hearing him preach sermons one immediately became aware of a great faith and devotion. He was also, of course, an amazing Greek scholar. Dorothy Lee was my New Testament lecturer and I was very inspired by her teaching. My training was also greatly enriched by the Jesuit scholars, particularly Tony Campbell in Old Testament. I found my Anglicanism was strengthened by being trained by an ecumenical faculty. I had an enormous respect for other traditions but, within all those traditions, I also became comfortable as an Anglican.'

She remembers 1992 as the ‘tumultuous year’, when women were ordained priests for the first time in the Diocese of Melbourne.

‘I started studying in 1993 as one of the first women to be accepted as a candidate,’ said Alison.

‘Before that, women who trained did so off their own bat and without recognition as candidates. There was an odd attitude to women in ministry even then. I remember that many people said that because I had a school-aged child that I would never have time to go into full-time parish ministry, which was what I knew I was called to do.’

Her senior appointments following ordination included chairing Anglican Overseas Aid (formerly Anglicord). In 2009, she was invited by the Archbishop of Canterbury to be a member of the Steering Group for the newly created international Anglican Alliance for Development Relief and Advocacy.

Dean of Trinity College Theological School, the Revd Prof Dorothy Lee, said, ‘We are delighted that the Revd Alison Taylor will soon be consecrated as Bishop in the Diocese of Brisbane,’ she said. 

'Alison is the second alumna of TCTS to be given such a senior role in the Church's leadership; the other is Bishop Kay Goldsworthy. We are proud of both women, and proud too of our tradition in the School of affirming and encouraging the ministry of women in the church. In a day when some are seeking to turn back the clock, we at Trinity are seeking to hold to the conviction that women as well as men can respond to God's call to ministry in Christ's name. We pray for Bishop Kay and Bishop-elect Alison.’

The Venerable Alison Taylor will be consecrated Bishop of St John's Cathedral, Brisbane, at 10am on Saturday 6 April.

All Trinity alumni, staff, clergy and students are warmly welcome.

20 Mar 2013
Category: Learning