The first female diocesan bishop in the Church of England, Rachel Treweek, will formally begin her new role as the Bishop of Gloucester on Saturday 19 September. Over 1,000 people are expected to attend a special event in Gloucester Cathedral to mark this occasion, which will begin at 4.30pm.
During the service she will be presented with her pastoral staff and will be placed in her cathedra (or bishop’s chair) by the Archdeacon of Canterbury, the Venerable Sheila Watson, on behalf of the Archbishop of Canterbury. Rachel will also preach her first sermon in Gloucester as the bishop.
Rachel will be consecrated as the 41st Bishop of Gloucester at Canterbury Cathedral on 22 July, but this service on 19 September will mark the formal start of Rachel’s ministry in the Diocese of Gloucester. She said: “I am delighted that my inauguration service is finally in sight and I am looking forward to it with joyful anticipation and immense excitement. It is my hope that the service will resound with thanksgiving for what has been and hopeful expectancy for what is yet to come, as we journey together into the next chapter, rooted and grounded in the love of Christ.”
During the service, Rachel will be welcomed by the Dean of Gloucester, the Very Revd Stephen Lake. He said: “This will be a great day for the cathedral and everyone in Gloucestershire. We are all very excited about welcoming our new bishop and working together to proclaim the good news of Jesus.”
Rachel comes to the diocese having served previously in a number of other ministries. She was a curate at St George and All Saints, Tufnell Park before becoming the Vicar of St James the Less, Bethnal Green in 1999. She was appointed as Archdeacon of Northolt in 2006 and before being appointed the Bishop of Gloucester was the Archdeacon of Hackney, a role she had since 2011.
Before ordination, Rachel trained as a Speech and Language Therapist, a role she practised for more than six years. It was while working as a Speech and Language Therapist that she became interested in family dynamics. She began her training in 'Couples and Family Therapy' and completed her certificate at the Institute of Family Therapy once she was ordained.
Her previous training and specialist work continues to affect her perspective on the functioning of a parish and the wider Church in society. This has led to an ever-increasing interest in conflict transformation. Since 2011 Rachel has been a Member of Bridge Builders’ Council of Reference.
Invitations to attend the service will be sent across the diocese and beyond. Further information regarding invitations and details of the service will be available the week beginning 19 July.