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Last Updated: Saturday, 1 May, 2004, 17:06 GMT 18:06 UK
Woman dean at ancient cathedral
June Osborne has been a canon at Salisbury Cathedral since 1995
June Osborne has been a canon at Salisbury Cathedral since 1995
The first woman in Britain to become dean at a medieval cathedral was installed in Salisbury, Wiltshire on Saturday.

Canon June Osborne is the second female dean in the UK. The Very Reverend Vivian Faull was appointed Dean of Leicester in 2002.

Canon Osborne is the 80th dean at Salisbury's 13th Century cathedral.

More than 150 clergy including bishops and deans were among the 1,300 people at the service and ceremony.

A procession was held through the city centre to the cathedral, the diocese of which covers most of Wiltshire and Dorset.

'No better job'

Canon Osborne was presented with artefacts during the installation including the cathedral's copy of the Magna Carta, one of four copies of the 1215 document still in existence in Britain.

The Bishop of Salisbury, the Right Rev David Stancliffe, said: "I am particularly pleased that June has been appointed as Dean.

"She is a clear-headed, strategic thinker, an able team leader, a fine preacher and a compassionate pastor.

"The fact she is a woman is an additional plus in an institution whose senior staff are so frequently all men."

Manchester-born Canon Osborne, 40, who is married with two children, was one of the first women to be ordained to the priesthood in 1994.

She said: "There is no better job in the Church of England than being the dean of a cathedral and no better cathedral for me than Salisbury.

Woman bishop

"I am looking forward to playing our part in the spiritual and economic life of the city and of the district and to serving the counties and parishes of Wiltshire and Dorset."

A service was being held at Guildford Cathedral on Saturday evening to celebrate the 10th anniversary of women being ordained into the priesthood in England.

The Rt Rev Catherine Waynick, Bishop of Indianapolis, was invited to give the sermon by Bishop John Gladwin.

She is one of 11 women bishops in the Anglican Church of which eight are in the US, two in Canada and one in New Zealand.

Her visit has been organised by Guildford Watch (Women And The Church) which has been campaigning for the introduction of women bishops in the Church of England.

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