A former lawyer, who specialised in miscarriages of justice, will be returning to her Northern roots as she takes up the post of canon at Ripon Cathedral on Sunday.
Canon Ailsa Newby is currently a team rector in Putney in London. It was her work with prisoners for the charity Justice that led to her becoming ordained. Canon Newby had perviously worked at a large law firm in the City.
The priest, who originally hails from Scotland, said of her move: “One of the peculiarities of clergy life is that when you move job, you move house and church as well at the same time. If moving house is supposed to be one of the stressful things in life, the combination of moving job and place of worship too intensifies the problem.
“I am very excited though, about our move to Ripon. We – my husband Dick and our sons Mark and Roger – have had some great times in North Yorkshire and the Dales over the years both on holidays and visiting family as my husband comes from Rothwell, near Leeds. For him it feels like returning to his roots!”
The historic installation, which dates back to mediaeval times, will take place during Evensong at the cathedral at 3.30pm on Sunday and will be followed by refreshments. The new canon will literally be placed in an ancient stall by the Dean of Ripon, the Very Reverend John Dobson.
He said: “ We are very much looking forward to welcoming Canon Ailsa and her husband Dick to Ripon. Ailsa will be the fortunate person responsible for leading in the area of the cathedral’s pastoral care. She will find Ripon a wonderful community in which to minister.”
There have been canons at Ripon Cathedral since before the Norman Conquest. They are the successor community to the monastery founded by St Wilfrid in 672.
Canon Newby will preach her first sermon at Ripon Cathedral on July 16, which marks half a century since the first female lay readers were appointed and the 30th anniversary of the ordination of the first women deacons On that day the organisation supporting womens’ ministry is inviting women to celebrate by preaching in as many churches as possible.