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Rachel Treweek

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Rachel Treweek
Bishop of Gloucester
Official portrait of The Lord Bishop of Gloucester crop 2.jpg
ChurchChurch of England
DioceseDiocese of Gloucester
In office2015–present
PredecessorMichael Perham
Other post(s)
  • 3 July 1994 (deacon)
  • 27 June 1995 (priest)

Consecration22 July 2015
by Justin Welby
Personal details
Rachel Montgomery

(1963-02-04) 4 February 1963 (age 59)
ResidenceBishopscourt, Gloucester[1]
Guy Treweek
(m. 2006)
Alma mater
Member of the House of Lords
(Lord Spiritual)
Assumed office
26 October 2015

Rachel Treweek (née Montgomery; born 4 February 1963 at Broxbourne, Hertfordshire) is an Anglican bishop who sits in the House of Lords as a Lord Spiritual. Since June 2015, she has served as Bishop of Gloucester, the first female diocesan bishop in the Church of England. A former speech and language therapist, from 2011 until 2015, she was the Archdeacon of Hackney in the Diocese of London.

Early life and career

Born Rachel Montgomery on 4 February 1963,[2] she was educated at Broxbourne School, a state school in Broxbourne, Hertfordshire.[3] She studied at the University of Reading graduating in 1984 with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in linguistics and language pathology.[3][1][4]

Treweek's first career was as a speech and language therapist. After six years as a paediatric speech therapist in the National Health Service, she left her job to train for ordination in the Church of England.[5][6]

Ordained ministry

Treweek studied for ordination at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford, an Anglican theological college, and graduated with a Bachelor of Theology (BTh) degree in 1994. She was ordained deacon at Petertide 1994 (3 July), by David Hope, Bishop of London, at St Paul's Cathedral,[7] and was introduced by Martin Wharton, Bishop of Kingston as a curate, the following Petertide (27 June 1995), at St George and All Saints Church, Tufnell Park, London,[8] then becoming Associate Vicar, from 1997 to 1999.[9] In 1999, she was appointed Vicar of St James-the-Less, Bethnal Green, London.[6][10] In addition to the incumbency, she was appointed the continuing ministerial education officer for the Diocese of London.[1]

In 2006, Treweek left parish ministry on her appointment as the Archdeacon of Northolt; this made her one of six archdeacons in the Diocese of London.[11] She held the position for five years before becoming the Archdeacon of Hackney on 14 May 2011.[1] She relinquished this appointment on confirmation of her appointment as Bishop of Gloucester on 15 June 2015.[12]

In September 2013, Treweek was elected as one of eight "participant observers" of the House of Bishops representing the South East of England.[13] Such observers were senior female priests who attended and participated in meetings of the House of Bishops until six women were sitting in the House by right as bishops.[14] She attended her first meeting of the House of Bishops of the General Synod of the Church of England on 9 December 2013.[15]

Episcopal ministry

On 26 March 2015, it was announced that Treweek was to become the next Bishop of Gloucester, the diocesan bishop of the Diocese of Gloucester.[3] Though there had been two women appointed bishops previously in the Church of England, she was the first woman to be appointed a diocesan bishop, rather than as a suffragan bishop.[16] She was the first woman to become a bishop in the Province of Canterbury, jointly with Sarah Mullally, Bishop of Crediton.[17] On 15 June 2015, her election was confirmed during a sitting of the Arches Court of Canterbury at St Mary-le-Bow, City of London.[12][18] At this point, she legally became the bishop of Gloucester.[19] On 22 July 2015, she was consecrated by Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, during a ceremony at Canterbury Cathedral,[20] she and Sarah Mullally (later Bishop of London) being the first women to be consecrated as bishops in the Church of England.[21] On 19 September 2015, she was installed at Gloucester Cathedral as the 41st Bishop of Gloucester.[22][23]

Following the Lords Spiritual (Women) Act 2015, Treweek was the first woman bishop eligible to be admitted to the House of Lords as a Lord Spiritual when parliament reconvened in September 2015 after its summer recess,[16] in place of Tim Stevens who had retired as Bishop of Leicester and Convenor of the Bishops in the Lords.[24][25] She sent back the first version of her writ of summons because it referred to her as a “Right Reverend Father in God”[26] (bishops' writs have simply omitted “Father in God” ever since — even for male bishops).[27] Then, on 26 October 2015, she was introduced to the House by Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, and Richard Chartres, Bishop of London.[28][29] In 2020, she became (additionally), Bishop to HM Prisons.[30]


Treweek believes that God should be considered to be neither male nor female and tries to avoid using gender-specific pronouns when referring to God.[26] Explaining this view, "she said she personally prefers to say neither "he" nor "she", but "God". "Sometimes I lapse, but I try not to," the bishop told The Observer."[31] The Diocese of Gloucester announced that, in January 2017, Treweek would preside at an LGBTI Eucharist with Inclusive Church.[32]

Personal life

In 2006, she married Guy Treweek; he is a Church of England priest and was priest-in-charge of two ancient City of London parishes at the time of her appointment to the episcopate.[33]


Bishop Treweek is a Patron of Prisoners Abroad, a charity supporting the welfare of Britons imprisoned overseas and their families.


On 8 July 2016, Bishop Treweek received an honorary doctorate (Hon DLitt) from her alma mater, the University of Reading.[34]



  1. ^ a b c d "Rachel Treweek". Crockford's Clerical Directory (online ed.). Church House Publishing. Retrieved 30 November 2015.
  2. ^ "Treweek, Rachel". Who's Who. Vol. 2014 (November 2014 online ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc. Retrieved 19 May 2015. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  3. ^ a b c "The Bishop of Gloucester Designate". About the Diocese. Diocese of Gloucester. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 26 March 2015.
  4. ^ 20 July 2015. "New Bishop of Gloucester Rachel Treweek to be first woman in the Church of England to be consecrated as a diocesan bishop". Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  5. ^ Gledhill, Ruth (26 March 2015). "Church of England appoints first female diocesan bishop". Christian Today. Retrieved 29 March 2015.
  6. ^ a b "The Archdeacon of Hackney, the Venerable Rachel Treweek, announced as the next Bishop of Gloucester". Communications. Diocese of London. 26 March 2015. Retrieved 26 March 2015.
  7. ^ "Ordinations". Church Times. No. 6857. 15 July 1994. p. 5. ISSN 0009-658X. Retrieved 10 June 2017 – via UK Press Online archives.
  8. ^ "Ordinations continued". Church Times. No. 6908. 7 July 1995. p. 8. ISSN 0009-658X. Retrieved 10 June 2017 – via UK Press Online archives.
  9. ^ "Diocese of Gloucester: Venerable Rachel Treweek". Press release. Prime Minister's Office, 10 Downing Street. 26 March 2015. Retrieved 26 March 2015.
  10. ^ "Archdeacons" Archived 2012-02-05 at the Wayback Machine, Diocese of London website.
  11. ^ Gregory, Julia (18 May 2011). "New Archdeacon of Hackney is appointed". Hackney Gazette. Retrieved 27 March 2015.
  12. ^ a b Bingham, John (16 June 2015). "Belle bells in Bow as Church of England celebrates first female diocesan bishop". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 16 June 2015.
  13. ^ "First Female Representatives to House of Bishops Elected". Media Centre. The Church of England. 26 September 2013. Retrieved 26 March 2015.
  14. ^ Davies, Madeleine (7 February 2013). "Women dignitaries to be elected as Bishops' 'participant observers'". Church Times. Retrieved 19 December 2014.
  15. ^ "(Photo) Female observers join House of Bishops meeting". Christian Today. 9 December 2013. Retrieved 26 March 2015.
  16. ^ a b Ward, Victoria (26 March 2015). "Church of England names first female bishop to sit in the House of Lords". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 26 March 2015.
  17. ^ "Rachel Treweek to become the new bishop of Gloucester". BBC News. 26 March 2015. Retrieved 26 March 2015.
  18. ^ Archbishop of Canterbury — Diary: Bishop of Gloucester — Confirmation of Election (Accessed 27 May 2015)
  19. ^ Working with the Spirit: Choosing Diocesan Bishops: a Review of the Operation of the Crown Appointments Commission and Related Matters page 81, section 5.24 (Accessed 27 May 2015)
  20. ^ "Consecrations - Bishops of Gloucester and Crediton". Archbishop's diary. Archbishop of Canterbury. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  21. ^ First female diocesan bishop in C of E consecrated. Retrieved on 23 July 2015.
  22. ^ "First female bishop to represent church in the House of Lords". BBC News. 13 October 2015. Retrieved 14 October 2015.
  23. ^ "New Bishop of Gloucester Rachel Treweek visits All Saints' Academy in Cheltenham". Gloucestershire Echo. 26 March 2015. Archived from the original on 11 August 2015. Retrieved 14 October 2015.
  24. ^ The Lord Bishop of Leicester (Valedictory Speech) (16 July 2015). "Freedom of Religion and Belief". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). United Kingdom: House of Lords. col. 779–780.
  25. ^ "House of Lords Recess dates". House of Lords FAQs. Retrieved 22 July 2015.
  26. ^ a b "'God is neither male nor female', says first female bishop to sit in the House of Lords". The Guardian. 24 October 2015. Retrieved 5 November 2015.
  27. ^ e.g. Chris Lincoln & Martin Chichester
  28. ^ "Future business: Monday 26 October at 2.30pm". House of Lords Business. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
  29. ^ "Gloucester bishop Rachel Treweek to take seat in Lords". BBC News. 26 October 2015. Retrieved 26 October 2015.
  30. ^ "Bishop of Gloucester takes on new national role for prisons".
  31. ^ "'God is not to be seen as male' says top woman bishop | Christian News on Christian Today". Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  32. ^ "Senior Anglican Bishop To Preside At LGBT Eucharist | Christian News on Christian Today". Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  33. ^ Caroline, Davies. "Church of England appoints most senior female bishop". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 March 2015.
  34. ^ "Pioneering leadership: Rt Revd Rachel Treweek awarded honorary degree". University of Reading. 8 July 2016. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  35. ^ St Martin's (West Acton) Magazine — February 2006 (Accessed 8 November 2015)
Church of England titles
Preceded by Archdeacon of Northolt
Succeeded by
Duncan Green
Preceded by Archdeacon of Hackney
2011–15 June 2015
Succeeded by
Preceded by Bishop of Gloucester
15 June 2015–present

This page was last edited on 14 April 2022, at 21:46
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