The 72nd Bishop of Llandaff – and the second woman bishop in Wales – has been consecrated at a service in Brecon Cathedral.
Bishop June Osborne, one of the most senior church leaders in the UK, was appointed in April by the Church in Wales’ bishops.
Bishop June served as Dean of Salisbury for the 13 years, and said the move would serve as “something of a homecoming for the family, particularly because my husband is from Cardiff and it is a place we know and love”.
The address was given by the Bishop of Salisbury, Nicholas Holtam, and the Gospel was read by Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, former Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church of the USA, who was the Anglican Communion’s first woman primate.
Bishop June was anointed with the oil of Chrism and presented with the symbols of office – the episcopal ring, pectoral cross and mitre, as well as a Bible and a pastoral staff.
Choristers and lay clerks from Salisbury Cathedral joined Brecon Cathedral Choir to sing at the service.
It was only the fifth time a bishop has been consecrated in Brecon Cathedral. Three of the previous occasions were during the time when John Morgan was Archbishop of Wales and Bishop of Llandaff because when his own cathedral was out of use for major services because of damage it sustained during World War II.
“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,” Bishop June said.
A ground-breaking figure in the Church of England, Bishop June was the first female Dean to be appointed to a medieval cathedral, having served as Salisbury Cathedral’s Canon Treasurer for nearly 10 years. She was active in the national life of the Church of England, serving for many years on General Synod’s Standing Committee, including sitting on the Panel of Chairs.
One of the first women to be ordained as a priest in England in 1994, having been a Deaconess since 1980 and Deacon since 1987, Bishop June’s ministry has been characterised by her passion for equality and diversity and she was a founder of the Church’s Leading Women programme.
She is married to barrister Paul Goulding QC and they have two children, Megan and Tom.
Bishop June’s election was confirmed at a sacred synod meeting at Brecon Cathedral on Friday night. She will be enthroned at Llandaff Cathedral on July 22.
Photographs by Angela Hewitt and Ritchie Craven