Provincial press releases

Consecration of Bishop of St Davids

History will be made this weekend as Wales’ first woman bishop is consecrated.

The Revd Canon Joanna Penberthy will be consecrated as Bishop of St Davids at Llandaff Cathedral on Saturday (Jan 21).

She was elected as the 129th Bishop of St Davids by members of the Electoral College in November. It was the first opportunity for a woman to be elected as a bishop following the Church’s decision in  2013 to enable the ordination of women bishops.

She will be consecrated by the Archbishop of Wales, Dr Barry Morgan, with the five other Welsh bishops, and the Archbishop will give the address.

Dr Morgan said, “This is an historic occasion for the Church in Wales as well as a being hugely significant moment for Canon Joanna. It is marvellous that it is possible for us to appoint women as well as men to all three Orders of ministry and to regard that as now being the norm.  What matters is not gender but suitability, character, gifts and that was why Joanna was elected as bishop.

“I hope everyone will celebrate with us and support Joanna and pray for her as she embarks on this next stage in her ministry.”

Canon Jo, who was previously Rector of Glan Ithon, in the Diocese of Swansea and Brecon, said, “While being made Bishop is awe inspiring, I am very much looking forward to joining the people of St Davids diocese as we seek to live out and share our faith in the Risen Christ.”

The consecration service, which is ticket only due to space restrictions, starts at 11am.

Following her consecration, Bishop Joanna will be enthroned at St Davids Cathedral on February 11.


The Revd Canon Joanna Penberthy was born in Swansea and grew up in Cardiff. She was educated at Cardiff High School and graduated from Newnham College, Cambridge. She trained for the ministry St John’s College, Nottingham and Cranmer Hall, Durham.

She was made a deaconess in 1984, ordained as a Deacon in 1987 and was among the first women ordained as priests in Wales in 1997.

She has served in the dioceses of Durham, Llandaff, St Asaph and St Davids and was also the Provincial officer for Parish Development and Renewal for five years. In 2007 she was appointed a Canon at St Davids Cathedral.

Canon Joanna left Wales in 2010 to serve in the Diocese of Bath and Wells but returned last year as Rector of Glan Ithon, in the Diocese of Swansea and Brecon, based in Llandrindod Wells.

She is married to the Revd Adrian Penberthy and they have four grown-up children and one grandchild. Her interests include quantum physics (currently studying for a PhD), reading and bird-watching.