[Anglican Communion News Service] A South African woman has been elected as the second female Anglican bishop in Africa. The Rev. Canon Margaret Vertue, the senior priest in a diocese which includes most of the poorer suburbs of greater Cape Town, was elected bishop of the Diocese of False Bay on Oct. 3.
The second of two women elected to the episcopacy in recent months, Vertue was one of the two first woman priests to be ordained in Cape Town by Archbishop Desmond Tutu 20 years ago.
Archbishop Thabo Makgoba, primate of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, said, “I am absolutely delighted that the Rev. Canon Margaret Vertue has been elected the next bishop of the Diocese of False Bay.
“Margaret was my junior when we were both training for ordination at the College of the Transfiguration, then St. Paul’s, and I have worked closely with her on the board of HOPE Africa. She is well known, respected, and liked throughout Southern Africa, and we thank God for this new chapter in her life and ministry, and the life of False Bay diocese.”
The Archbishop heard the news while attending the Anglicans Ablaze conference in Johannesburg, the largest gathering from across the whole Anglican Church of Southern Africa in living memory.
Vertue, who will replace Bishop Merwyn Castle. and the Rev. Ellinah Ntombi Wamukoya, bishop-elect of Swaziland, are scheduled to be ordained and consecrated as bishops together by Makgoba in early 2013.
“In the last few months, we have had four episcopal elections, electing two women and two men,” said Makgoba. “It seems the Holy Spirit is not finished with us, but is taking us further onwards into this new stage of our church’s life. We give great thanks to God.”