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Rev Angela Berners-Wilson
Rev Angela Berners-Wilson

Press Release - 25 February 2009

University Chaplain becomes a Prebendary of Wells Cathedral

The Chaplain of the University of Bath has been installed as a Prebendary of Wells Cathedral.

Angela Berners-Wilson was the first woman ever to be ordained as a priest in the Church of England and has been Chaplain at the University for five years.

The honour was bestowed “as a recognition of your outstanding service to the Church as a deaconess, deacon and priest and your faithful commitment to the well-being of the Christian Gospel in our times.”

Rev Berners-Wilson was Collated and Installed by the Bishop of Taunton, The Right Rev Peter Maurice, on behalf of the Bishop of Bath and Wells, at a special ceremony yesterday (24 February).

She said: “It came as a complete surprise.

“I received the letter telling me I was to be installed as a Prebendary last month.

“I’d just returned from a holiday in Tenerife. I opened the letter and my husband said I turned white and asked for a chair!

“It’s a real honour.”

A Prebendary is a post connected to an Anglican or Catholic Cathedral and is a type of canon.

Prebendaries have a role in the administration of the cathedral, and in medieval times benefitted from an income from cathedral estates (this is no longer the case).

The Reverend Berners-Wilson’s Prebend is Combe XII.

Prebends have their own stall in the Cathedral, sit on Greater Chapter, and preach at the Cathedral. Above each stall is a canopy named after former bishops. The Rev Berners-Wilson’s is Bishop Peter Mews.

The Rev Berners-Wilson was appointed University Chaplain in May 2004.

Professor Ian Jamieson, University Pro-Vice-Chancellor said: “I am delighted that Rev Berners-Wilson’s dedication and service has been recognised with this prestigious honour. Her care and commitment to our staff and students are valuable and appreciated assets.”

Prior to joining the University the Rev Berners-Wilson was Rector of two rural parishes just outside Bath, at Colerne and North Wraxall in Wiltshire.

Before that she was Senior Anglican Chaplain to Bristol University, and before that she was Chaplain to the then Thames Polytechnic in South London (now the University of Greenwich).

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