The Anglican Church of Southern Africa has consecrated its first woman bishop in Africa.
Ellinah Wamukoya, 61, will serve as the church�s bishop in the small, conservative kingdom of Swaziland.
Her consecration comes as the Church of England is due to vote on whether to allow women to become bishops.
�We have taken this step, and we wish the Church of England �God speed� as they deliberate this week,� Cape Town�s Anglican archbishop said.
The Most Revd Thabo Makgoba of Cape Town said in a statement: �The thunder is rumbling as I write: We have witnessed a great occasion, and now it does indeed seem that the heavens are about to fall upon us � the falling of rain, which this country and its people so desperately need.
David Dinkebogile led Saturday�s ceremony and stressed that the gathering was to consecrate a bishop �not a black woman, not an African, not a Swazi woman�.
�She was to be pastor to all, to men and women, to black and white, to Swazis and all others in her diocese,� he said.
Bishop Wamukoya is a former mayor of Swaziland�s economic capital, Manzini, reports the AFP news agency.
�I am going to try to represent the mother attribute of God,� she said.
�A mother is a caring person but at the same time, a mother can be firm in doing whatever she is doing,� she said.
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