The position as the new Area Bishop of Shrewsbury has been taken up by a woman for the first time ever.

The Venerable Sarah Bullock, who is currently serving as Archdeacon of York, has taken on the role to succeed the Right Reverend Mark Rylands.

Downing Street announced on Monday that the Queen has approved Sarah’s nomination, making her the first woman to serve as a bishop in the Diocese of Lichfield.

She said: “I am honoured and delighted to have been invited to become the Bishop of Shrewsbury.

“I’m looking forward to really getting to know the communities of this area and those who live, work and worship here.

“I’m passionate about the Christian faith and journeying with people to discover and share the love, joy and hope that Jesus offers to everyone.

“I look forward to supporting the churches, schools, colleges and communities of this area as we share the good news of God’s love, which brings transformation, hope and renewal.”

Bishop Sarah’s particular responsibility will be the pastoral oversight of churches, ministers and communities in the towns and villages of north Shropshire.

The 55-year-old trained for ministry at Cranmer Hall, University of Durham, a theological college in the evangelical tradition of the Church of England.

She was ordained 26 years ago after a short career in teaching and children’s and youth work in the Diocese of Manchester. She then served there in a variety of parish and diocesan roles including Bishop’s Adviser for Women’s Ministry and Borough Dean for the City and Borough of Manchester.

She was made an Honorary Canon of Manchester Cathedral in 2007.

In 2013 Sarah was appointed Archdeacon of York where building relationships in the rural communities was a vital part of supporting and encouraging the churches.

The Bishop of Lichfield, the Right Revd Dr Michael Ipgrave, said: “I am delighted that Sarah has accepted our invitation to be nominated for this post.

“I know that in her we will be welcoming a caring and prayerful pastor, with an imaginative and energetic commitment to mission, a proven readiness to work with ecumenical and community partners in building up community, and a fine mind and warm heart firmly grounded in a deep Christian faith.” I look forward to working closely with Sarah as a colleague and sister bishop, and I know that she will be received warmly by people in churches and communities in the Shrewsbury Episcopal Area and across the Diocese of Lichfield.”

The Archdeacon of Salop, the Venerable Paul Thomas, said: “‘It is a joy to welcome Sarah as the next Bishop of Shrewsbury and I look forward to working closely with her. I am sure that from her wealth of experience Sarah will bring many enriching gifts to us and will be received with enthusiasm and generous hospitality.”

Sarah will be consecrated as bishop by the Archbishop of Canterbury at St Paul’s Cathedral on 3 July and will begin her role in Shrewsbury shortly afterwards.