Sunday, August 24, 2008

Christchurch bishop: It's a matter of faith not gender

Sunday Star Times
24 August 2008

VICTORIA MATTHEWS quietly chuckles when people assume that because she is a woman in a traditionally male role she must be a liberal.

Stereotypes do not sit well with the 54-year-old Canadian who will be enthroned as the new Anglican Bishop of Christchurch next Saturday. Nor do questions about how she, as a woman, will cope with the role.

"The challenge has nothing to do with gender. The challenge has to do with coming to a new part of the world and learning a new culture, a new language in part because I don't speak Maori at the moment, and learning to steer the good ship Christchurch wherever God would have her sail."

After just five days in the country and two in her new job, Matthews told the Star-Times she may be a novelty in New Zealand, but she is part of a long tradition.

"The Anglican Communion has had women bishops now for about 20 years. I was the first in Canada ... I'm kind of tired about all the talk about firsts. I happen to be a woman who happens to be a bishop. What's the point?" the rest


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