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Last Updated: Tuesday, 6 February 2007, 17:43 GMT
First woman canon for cathedral
The Reverend Joanna Penberthy
Joanna Penberthy is described as an "able, diligent and faithful priest"
One of the oldest cathedrals in the UK has appointed a woman canon for the first time.

The Bishop of St David's, Carl Cooper, announced that Joanna Penberthy would be the first woman in the post at St David's Cathedral in Pembrokeshire.

The present cathedral dates to the 12th Century, but the site has been a place of worship since St David founded a monastery there in about 550 AD.

She said she felt privileged by the appointment in the UK's smallest city.

Dedicated to St Andrew and St David, the cathedral is one of Britain's oldest.

Construction of the present building began in 1191, though it has suffered damage and been rebuilt several times over the centuries.

St David's Cathedral
St David's has been a place of worship since the sixth century

Bishop Cooper said: "As a member of the cathedral chapter (the decision making body of the cathedral) she will contribute to the life, mission and ministry of this most important place in our diocese and nation.

"Jo has held a number of ministerial posts during her ministry, at local, diocesan and provincial level.

"She is an able, diligent and faithful priest whose contribution enriches the lives of those with and amongst whom she ministers."

Ms Penberthy, who is vicar of Cynwyl Gaeo, Llansawel and Talley, said: "St David's has been a place of prayer and pilgrimage important to so many people over so many centuries.

"I feel very privileged to be able to play a small part in its continuing life.

"To be the first woman to be honoured in this way is indeed a privilege. I trust I won't be alone in this for long".

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