A WOMAN who grew up in Wagga is set to return to her home town as NSW's first female Anglican bishop.
Archdeacon Genieve Blackwell, currently rector of Yass, is about to break new ground by becoming the state's first female bishop consecrated.
She will be based at the Turvey Park parish, returning to Wagga to serve the west and north-west of the diocese after 30 years away from the city.
She said it was amazing to be making her return in such unique circumstances.
"I look forward to meeting the people of the parish and becoming part of their community as we seek a new direction together," Archdeacon Blackwell said.
"The move to Wagga feels a challenge and at first I look forward to listening to the local church and wider community."
Although Archdeacon Blackwell's appointment as a bishop is likely to cause some controversy, she said her focus would be on doing "whatever is best for the gospel".
"The Scriptures say that there is no male or female, we are all one in Christ," she said.
"I think the wider question the New Testament writers are asking is that we should do whatever is best for the gospel.
"That will look very different today than it looked in the time of the early Christians."
Archdeacon Blackwell will be consecrated on Saturday, March 31, at a special service at St Saviours Anglican Cathedral in Goulburn.
She will take up her new position in January.