Today marks one year since Bishop Rachel's inauguration when she took up her role as Bishop of Gloucester, becoming the Church of England’s first female diocesan bishop.
During this time, she also became the first woman bishop to become a member of the House of Lords.
Bishop Rachel has used this year to build relationships with a wide range of people both within the diocese and nationally, including other faith leaders, schools, health professionals, civic leaders and charities.
Some of the highlights of the past year have been her welcome service at Gloucester Cathedral; visiting our link Diocese in Tanzania; spending Holy week at Eastwood Park women’s prison; visiting GCHQ, hospitals and a hospice; meeting children and young people in schools including Al-Ashraf Girls’ School and National Star College for young people with disabilities. She greatly enjoyed her canal trip with adults with disability, as well as making her maiden speech in the House of Lords. She has also loved baptising and confirming young people and adults, and encouraging Christians to live out their faith with greater confidence.
Bishop Rachel is currently in the process of launching the new diocesan vision and is working with secondary school children on a campaign to build self-esteem. She is also keen to support the rehabilitation of women prisoners and is speaking out to change the perception of refugees in our communities.
Bishop Rachel said, “I give thanks to God for this amazing first year. It has been extremely full, packed with new experiences, new challenges and new friends. Guy and I would like to thank everyone for their welcome and support. I look forward to leading this Diocese in the coming years as we continue to share the hope and love of Jesus Christ in and around Gloucestershire.”