"First Woman Bishop" elected as one of Ireland's four main church leaders - VIDEO
Methodist cleric to become president of Methodist Church this week
Reverend Dr Heather Morris will become the president of the Methodist Church on Wednesday, the first time a female cleric has been elected one of Ireland's four main church leaders.
Sky News reports that while Anglicans in England are divided on the ordination of women bishops, there is a "covenant" between Anglicans and Methodists in Ireland, suggesting to some that Dr Morris has become the first woman bishop.
"It's not for me to express an opinion on the Anglican debate but one of the things I love about Methodism is the fact that being a woman does not matter," said Dr Morris, who was born in Nigeria to missionary parents, but educated in Belfast and Dublin.
"I have said before that my election wasn't an issue around gender.
"My experience has been one where, as a woman in ministry, I have been nurtured and encouraged to use the gifts that God has entrusted to me. I see this as just a natural progression."
She went on to say that there will be no radical change of policy during her term.
"I am happy to stand with where the Methodist Church in Ireland is on those issues," she said.
"For example, with regards to same-sex relationships, we believe that marriage is between one man and one woman, and that marriage is the place for sexual intimacy."
The 48-year-old mother of two grown sons says that God called her and her husband Neil together.
"He gave up a brilliant job to support me when I entered ministry," she said.
Dr Morris, whose father, Rev Paul Kingston, is a former Methodist President in Ireland, is quick to point out the Methodist emphasis on the word "all," saying, "Our ministers were involved in peace talks in the 70s, when people didn't speak across the sectarian divide, and they are still courageously building peace in the community."
Here's the Sky News interview with Rev Morris:
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