Dean of Salisbury June Osborne to be next Bishop of Llandaff

Ash MillsDean of Salisbury June Osborne is to be the next Bishop of Llandaff

Dean of Salisbury June Osborne, who was the first woman to be appointed to a senior post in the Church of England, is to be the new Bishop of Llandaff in the Church in Wales.

Osborne, who has been at Salisbury for 13 years, will be the second woman bishop in the Church in Wales. Joanna Penberthy became Bishop of St David's earlier this year.

She was appointed after a difficult process where the electors failed to agree over a new bishop. Dean of St Albans Jeffrey John accused the Church in Wales of homophobia when he received more than half the votes – but not enough to be elected.

Osborne is of exceptionally high calibre.

She was among the favourites to be a bishop in the Church of England and many in the Church had hoped she would become Bishop of Oxford. In the end that post went to Dr Steven Croft, creating a vacancy in Sheffield.

That in itself led to a controversy when the chosen candidate, traditionalist Philip North, withdrew after being criticised over his stance on women priests.

Llandaff, a diocese which has long been in the Anglo-Catholic tradition, serves most of Cardiff, the South Wales Valleys and the Vale of Glamorgan.

Her appointment will be confirmed on July 14 at a meeting of the Sacred Synod of Church in Wales Bishops in Brecon Cathedral, and she will be consecrated in Brecon on July 15.

Bishop of Swansea and Brecon, John Davies, said: 'In June Osborne, both the Church in Wales and the Diocese of Llandaff will find themselves to be richly blessed. June's track record admirably demonstrates her passion for Christian ministry modelled on the Gospel imperatives of love, justice, inclusivity and openness.

'All of these are qualities which I and my fellow bishops warmly support and welcome. She is known as a leader with clear vision, a pastoral heart and a strategic mind, all of which commend the Church to the wider community. In this way and through her teaching, her preaching and her leadership, she reveals herself to be someone who I am confident will provide for the Diocese of Llandaff excellence in leadership and oversight.

'I look forward, with keen anticipation, to her arrival amongst us and to her contributions to the work of the Bench of Bishops.'

Osborne said, 'It is a very great privilege to be nominated as Bishop of Llandaff, an ancient post with many noble predecessors. It will be something of a homecoming for the family, particularly because my husband is from Cardiff and it is a place we know and love.

'Leading a diocese that is so diverse, in an area that is both historic and beautiful, will be challenging but I have an enormous appetite for the task and am deeply honoured to have the opportunity to join a diocesan team which is strong and imaginative. These are turbulent times across the world and the need for faith, and for the confident, distinctive leadership of the Church has never been more important.

'I will, of course, be sad to say goodbye to Salisbury. It has been my home, both spiritually and as a family, for over two decades. I have been surrounded by wonderful colleagues, staff and volunteers, who have made my job a joyful undertaking. It has been a great pleasure to witness how the Cathedral has developed and flourished over the years and to have shared our wonderful Magna Carta 800 celebrations. I am immensely proud of what has been achieved here and wish all at the cathedral and its diocese well in the years to come.'