Matthews, Victoria (1954—)

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Matthews, Victoria (1954—)

Bishop of Edmonton who was the Anglican Church of Canada's first woman diocesan bishop . Born inToronto, Canada, in 1954; educated at Trinity College, University of Toronto, B.A., 1976, Th.M, 1987; Yale University Divinity School, M. Div. (Divinity), 1979.

Victoria Matthews was born in 1954 in Toronto, Canada, and spent most of her ministry in that city as well. After completing her studies at the University of Toronto and Yale University, she began her career as an assistant curate at the Church of St. Andrew in Scarborough, Ontario, Canada, in 1979, and served there until 1983. She then served as an incumbent at the parishes of Georgina, York-Simcoe, from 1983 to 1987, and at All Souls, Lansing, York-Scarborough, from 1987 to 1994. She also served as regional dean at the Deanery of York Mills, Ontario, from 1989 to 1994, as suffragan (assistant) bishop of the Diocese of Toronto in 1994. In 1997, at age 43, she was named bishop of Edmonton, Diocese of Edmonton, where she currently remains.

At the time of her seating as bishop of Edmonton, she was one of 6 women among the Anglican Church's 525 diocesan bishops and the Anglican Church of Canada's first woman diocesan bishop. (The first woman bishop chosen in

the Anglican Communion was Barbara Harris , a suffragan bishop in the United States. The first woman diocesan bishop was Penelope Jamieson , elected in New Zealand.) When chosen diocesan bishop, Matthews, who was elected at a special synod meeting on the fifth ballot, said she was surprised with the decision. Election delegates maintained that gender was not an issue. Even so, Matthews has said that she would be gratified to see more women bishops in Canada, and that "I welcome the day when gender is no longer a concern in the church."

Jo Anne Meginnes , freelance writer, Brookfield, Vermont