Former chief nurse named next Bishop of Crediton

Sarah Mullally, who was chief nursing officer for England from 1999 to 2004, will be made a Church of England bishop at a service next month

Former chief nursing officer Sarah Mullally is to become a Church of England bishop – only the fourth woman to take up such a post.

Lin Denard; Dame Sarah Mullally; Julia Halpin

Dame Sarah Mullally between two parish nurses working for the Two Rivers team in north Devon, Lin Denard (left) and Julia Halpin (right).
Picture credit: Richard Lappas

Dame Sarah Mullally will be consecrated as Bishop of Crediton – named after a Devon village – in the diocese of Exeter next month, and will be installed in a service in Exeter Cathedral in September.

Dame Sarah was England's chief nurse from 1999 to 2004, leaving to become a church minister. She became a Dame in 2005 and was installed as canon treasurer at Salisbury Cathedral in 2012.

She said: ‘My relationship with God shaped my career as a nurse. It helped me view people with compassion and to try to bring equality of opportunity in the NHS. Part of the work at the DH was about helping people from black and minority ethnic backgrounds into more senior positions, breaking the glass ceiling.

'We operate in a multi-faith, multi-racial society so my religion was not something I imposed on other people. It was more a motivator for me to care for humanity.’

Asked if she misses nursing, Dame Sarah said: ‘I’m still involved as a non-executive director at Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust, so I haven’t really left the health service.’

Dame Sarah is pictured between Lin Denard (left) and Julia Halpin (right), who are parish nurses working for the Two Rivers team in north Devon.

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