Canon Treasurer Sarah Mullally to be the next Bishop of Crediton, Exeter. | Salisbury Cathedral

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Canon Treasurer Sarah Mullally to be the next Bishop of Crediton, Exeter.

Posted By : Marie Thomas Tuesday 9th June 2015

The Revd Dame Sarah Mullally, Salisbury Cathedral’s Canon Treasurer, is to be the next Bishop of Crediton, Exeter. 

Dame Sarah, who has been at the Cathedral for three years, has been responsible for overseeing the care and maintenance of the buildings and delivering of its major repair programme, which is now 85% complete. She has also played a major role in developing the cathedral’s important visual arts policy.

Said The Very Revd. June Osborne: “This appointment is wonderful news for the Exeter Diocese and the Church of England.  Sarah will be sadly missed by all of us at the Cathedral. Her faith, wisdom and infectious humour has made her an inspired Treasurer, and a key figure in the pastoral life of the Cathedral. She has led our Works Department, championed our Arts Programme and been a supportive colleague. It is marvellous to see one of our own Canons consecrated as a Bishop. We rejoice in the selection of her as Bishop of Crediton.”


The Right Revd Nicholas Holtam, Bishop of Salisbury, said: “I am delighted with Sarah’s appointment, though extremely sad to be losing her from Salisbury Cathedral and this Diocese. I have no doubts that as Bishop of Crediton she will make an outstanding contribution to the Diocese of Exeter and to the Church of England. I very much look forward to partaking in her ordination as Bishop in Canterbury Cathedral on 22 July."


Said Dame Sarah: “It is with some surprise that I find myself appointed as the Bishop of Crediton in the Diocese of Exeter.  Not least that, whilst I am delighted, I will be sad to leave Salisbury Cathedral after three years.  It has been a privilege and great joy to have been part of the Cathedral community and I will miss some wonderful colleagues and friends.  My time here has equipped me well for my ministry that is ahead in Devon and I will take much with me into my new role.”


Dr Nick Marsden, Chairman of Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust said: “ This is a marvellous appointment for Sarah and a real achievement that reflects her outstanding talent and abilities. Sarah has been a Non Executive  Director since April 2013 and  since that time her knowledge, insight and passion for the NHS and the quality of patient care here in Salisbury has been invaluable to the Board , our hospital and the local community - where she has served  with such distinction. While I know she intends to stay on until early next year, she will be missed, and we will wish her every success in her new role as Bishop of Crediton.”


 A former nurse, Dame Sarah had a distinguished service in the NHS before ordination, culminating in her appointment as the government’s Chief Nursing Officer for England in 1999, when she was the youngest person to be appointed to the post.


She was ordained in 2001 and served her curacy in St Saviour’s Battersea Fields, initially as a self-supporting minister. She left her post as Chief Nursing Officer in 2004 to take up full time ministry becoming a Team Rector in Sutton, Surrey in 2006. In 2012 she was installed as Canon Treasurer at Salisbury Cathedral. She was made a Dame Commander of the British Empire in 2005 in recognition of her outstanding contribution to nursing and midwifery.


Dame Sarah said: “Throughout my life, as both a nurse and a priest, I have experienced God’s enduing love and I hope as Bishop to be able to share that love with others. My calling as a Christian and now as Bishop has been shaped by my belief that we are called to be witnesses to the generous love of God and the good news of Christ Jesus.  In my future ministry in the Diocese of Exeter I hope to encourage and enable Christians to grow in their faith, to share that faith with confidence and to serve the people of Devon with joy.”


The Bishop of Exeter, the Rt Revd Robert Atwell, said he was delighted to welcome Sarah to Devon. “This is an outstanding appointment. Sarah will enrich the life of the church in Devon enormously. She will bring to her new role the same mixture of compassion, integrity and professionalism that has characterised everything she has done and achieved, both nationally and specifically within the Church of England.”


As Bishop of Crediton, she will primarily look after east and north Devon, though in common with the Bishop of Plymouth, she will minister across the whole diocese.

Dame Sarah is the fourth woman bishop to be appointed by the Church of England, and the first in the South West. Aged 53, she is married to Eamonn, who works as business architect and they have two children, age 23 and 19. She will be consecrated as Bishop of Crediton in Canterbury Cathedral in July, alongside the first woman to be appointed as a diocesan bishop, the Venerable Rachel Treweek, who is to be Bishop of Gloucester.



For any other enquiries contact:

Marie Thomas at Salisbury Cathedral 01722 555148 or Rebecca Haveley at Exeter Cathedral 01392 294905

Note to Editors


1.    The Reverend Canon Dame Sarah Mullally studied first at South Bank University and the Nightingale School of Nursing, for her BSc followed by a MSc and then at Heythrop College University of London where she got her MA. She was awarded Honorary Doctorates of Science from Bournemouth University, (2004), University of Wolverhampton (2004) and University of Hertfordshire (2005) and was made a Dame Commander of the British Empire in 2005 for her contribution to nursing and midwifery.  She is a late ordinand who before ordination was Chief Nursing Officer in the Department of Health. She trained for the ministry at the South East Institute for Theologian Education and served her first curacy at Battersea Fields in Southwark Diocese from 2001 to 2006, initially as a self-supporting minister before taking up full time ministry. From 2006 to 2012 she was Team Rector at Sutton in Southwark Diocese. Since 2012 she has been Canon Residentiary and Canon Treasurer at Salisbury Diocese.


Dame Sarah Mullally is married to Eamonn and they have two children. She has continued her interest in the health service having been a non-executive director at The Royal Marsden Hospital then Salisbury NHS Foundation Hospital and she is a novice potter.

2.    The Bishop of Crediton and the Bishop of Plymouth are both Suffragan Bishops which means that they assist the Bishop of Exeter with his ministry across the Diocese of Exeter (which comprises the County of Devon and the Unitary Authorities of Plymouth and Torbay).

3.    The Canon Treasurer is one of three fulltime residentiary canons at Salisbury Cathedral, working alongside the Dean of Salisbury, the Very Revd June Osborne. The post holder is responsible for the fabric of the building, the major repair programme, the development department and the Cathedral’s visual arts policy. The Cathedral hope to appoint Dame Sarah’s successor in July.