Historic moment in Scottish Episcopal Church as it elects first female bishop

November 24, 2017

The Episcopal Synod of the Scottish Episcopal Church has elected the Rev Canon Anne Dyer as the new Bishop of Aberdeen & Orkney. Canon Dyer will be consecrated Bishop in a service held in St Andrew’s Cathedral, Aberdeen on Thursday 1 March 2018.

The General Synod of the Scottish Episcopal Church voted to allow the election of female bishops in 2003, Canon Dyer is the first woman to be elected Bishop. The See of Aberdeen and Orkney became vacant last November when the Rt Rev Dr Robert Gillies retired as Bishop of the Diocese.

Canon Dyer has been Rector of Holy Trinity church, Haddington since 2011. Her wider church involvement includes being a member of the Scottish Episcopal Institute Council and a member of General Synod.

Being in the first group of women for each of these Orders, Canon Dyer was ordained Deacon in 1987 and Priest in 1994 in Rochester. She served as Warden of Cranmer Hall, Durham and before that was Ministry Development Officer in the Diocese of Rochester. Prior to ordination Anne Dyer read Chemistry at St Anne’s College, Oxford and was a Business Systems Analyst with Unilever before training for ordained ministry at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford and studying theology at King’s College London.

Canon Dyer is Chair of the East Lothian Foodbank and is also a regular lecturer across Edinburgh and the Lothians on the subject of fine art and theology.

On hearing of her election Canon Dyer said “I am delighted to be elected by the Bishops of the Scottish Episcopal Church to serve as Bishop in the United Diocese of Aberdeen & Orkney. It will be a privilege to lead the people of this diocese as they continue to make known the love of God to those in their communities and beyond. I am looking forward to both the challenge and excitement of serving and worshiping together in diverse locations across the diocese and to joining the College of Bishops.”

The Most Rev Mark Strange, Bishop of Moray, Ross & Caithness and Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church says “I am delighted to welcome the Rev Canon Anne Dyer to the College of Bishops. Anne brings with her a wealth of experience in theological education and mission development, and has so many of the gifts sought by the diocese together with a deeply loving and generous personality.

I am also delighted that those gifts have allowed us to elect a woman to our College of Bishops. Please pray for Anne, her family, for the congregation at Haddington and for the Diocese of Aberdeen & Orkney as they journey on in faith.”

A Parliamentary Motion to congratulate the Rev Canon Anne Dyer on being elected as Bishop of Aberdeen & Orkney and also in being the first female bishop in the Scottish Episcopal Church and wishing her well in her Ministry has been submitted by Alexander Burnett MSP for Aberdeenshire West and Shadow Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy.