An Irish woman has made history as the first female bishop in Britain or Ireland.

The Right Rev Pat Storey (53) was consecrated by the Church of Ireland at the weekend.

The Irish Times reports that the former rector of St Augustine’s in Derry, made history when she was chosen by the church as the new Bishop of Meath and Kildare last September.

A married mother of two, she was consecrated at Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin in a two-hour service led by the Archbishop of Dublin, The Most Rev Dr Michael Jackson.

Guest preacher Rev Nigel Parker paid tribute to her in his homily.

He said: “Pat, it has been our privilege over the years to see you respond to our Father’s love with love, trust and obedience.

“You have given yourself whole-heartedly to Him and His Church, serving His people as a deacon and priest - teaching the Scriptures and pastoring with that disarming directness, which is your hallmark - a directness, which speaks the truth in love, with a ready laugh and delightful sense of humour.

“You have demonstrated your love for the Father in your hard work, impeccable organization and evangelistic heart, which longs to see people come into the family of God, through the completed work of Jesus Christ.

“You have shown your care and thoughtfulness to many, not least your family, Earl, Carolyn and Luke, and to us, your friends.

“So today, it is our privilege to pray for you, as the Lord Jesus calls you to a deeper life of sacrificial service, calls you to consecrate yourself to Him, His Church and His cause.”‘

Bishop Storey’s husband, the Rev Earl Storey, gave the first reading during the service watched by their two adult children Luke (22), and Carolyn (25), and son-in-law Peter.

The new Bishop grew up in Belfast and studied French and English at Trinity College, Dublin, before training at the Church of Ireland Theological College.

The Irish Times says she was ordained a deacon in 1997 and a priest the following year, serving a curacy in Ballymena, a team vicar in Glenavy, and as a part-time youth worker co-ordinator.

She was rector of St Augustine’s in Derry since 2004 until her appointment was passed by the House of Bishops in September, four months after the Episcopal Electoral College had failed to elect a successor.

The Bishops of the Church of Ireland and some retired Bishops and Archbishops as well as the Dean of St Patrick’s Cathedral Very Rev Victor Stacey attended the service.

Also there representing the Catholic Church were Bishop of Meath and Kildare Denis Nulty, while Msgr Dermot Farrell represented the Bishop of Meath Michael Smith.