Anglicans elect Dr Eleanor Sanderson Assistant Bishop for Wellington
The Reverend Canon Dr Eleanor Sanderson has been elected to serve as the Assistant Anglican Bishop in Wellington.
Her ordination as a bishop will take place at Wellington Cathedral of St Paul on the evening of Friday the 2nd of June.
Sanderson was nominated at a Diocesan electoral college held in Palmerston North’s Convention Centre on the 11th of March, and her nomination has since been ratified by the House of Bishops and the members of the General Synod.
She was born and raised in the United Kingdom. her husband, Tim, is Hutt Valley man. They have two sons: Zachary (9) and Joseph (7).
The bishop-elect is at present vicar of St Alban’s, Eastbourne. She is also chaplain of Wellesley College in Days Bay, and she is the Diocesan Canon Theologian.
She has a PhD in Geography – which was awarded for her thesis which explores the intersection between community development and Christian spirituality, through case studies of a Melanesian Anglican parish in Fiji, and a Mother’s Union group in rural Tanzania.
She also holds a Master’s degree in Theology, is a Fellow of Public Theology at Virginia Theological Seminary, and a Research Associate at the School of Religious Studies at Victoria University.
Sanderson was ordained to the priesthood in 2006. She has served in various roles in the Wellington Diocese over sixteen years.
The bishop of Wellington, Justin Duckworth, says her leadership skills and pastoral gifts are to be celebrated.
“We are so thankful to Ellie and her family,” he says, “for saying ‘yes’ to God’s call. We see a strength and depth of leadership in her that we believe will help catalyse the next generation of leaders amongst us.”
Bishop-elect Ellie’s appointment will allow Bishop Justin to spend more time in the north of the diocese, and he plans to move to Whanganui soon.
Thanks to New Zealand’s ‘CATHNEWS’ – a Roman Catholic news source – for this news of the ratified Election of another Anglican Woman Bishop in ACANZP – The Reverend Canon Dr Eleanor Sanderson – who has been chosen to serve as the Assistant Anglican Bishop in Wellington. She will become our 3rd female bishop.
With the recent meeting in Australia of the women bishops of Australia and New Zealand, this addition to the growing number of female Anglican Bishops in Australasia is a very encouraging sign of the desire of our Church to include suitably qualified women as part of the ministerial authority of ACANZP.
Canon Sanderson’s intellectual gifts, together with her pastoral experience as Vicar of the parish of St.Alban’s, Eastbourne in the Wellington Diocese, have commended her as a most suitable candidate for episcopal ministry in the Anglican Church. She is probably one of our most theologically equipped clergy – well qualified to join the rank of bishops. It is good to see that Wellington’s Anglican Bishop, +Justin Duckworth, is pleased with her episcopal election, and will no doubt find her a willing companion in his ongoing campaigning for social justice and integrity in that diocese and in the larger New Zealand community.
Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand