Bishop Helen-Ann Hartley visited Ripon Cathedral following the announcement by Downing Street that she will become the next Bishop of Ripon. She was welcomed by Bishop Nick at Church House in Leeds who said: “I am delighted to welcome Bishop Helen-Ann Hartley as the new Bishop of Ripon. She brings expertise as a theologian and episcopal experience from the wider Anglican Communion. She will add great strengths to the leadership and ministry of this diocese.”

At 44 she is the youngest bishop in the Church of England and the first woman priest ordained in the C of E to be made bishop! Bishop Helen-Ann is currently Bishop of Waikato in New Zealand but grew up in the North of England and is the fourth generation of her family to be ordained. Her husband Myles is a musician and church organist. She will officially begin her ministry on February 4 2018 when she will be welcomed and installed at a service at Ripon Cathedral.

After meeting assembled clergy, civic leaders and media here on Thursday Bishop Helen-Ann was asked if she had a head for heights – before climbing 21 metres (nearly 80 feet) up the scaffolding with Dean John to bless the new gargoyles!

Rachael Ogier and Hayden Horsfall, both 11, who came up with the designs for two of the three new gargoyles also braved the dizzy height to see the figures in place on the cathedral. The children won a competition earlier this year, which attracted over 1,000 entries.