Woman priest appointed to top job

Cape Town, South Africa - The Very Reverend Nangula Kathindi, the Dean of St George's Anglican Cathedral in Windhoek, Namibia, will take up a new post as provincial executive officer — the most senior administrative position — in the Church of the Province of Southern Africa after Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane.

She will take up her appointment at the beginning of next year, the office of the archbishop announced on Tuesday.

For the first time in Southern African Anglican Church history, the appointee is a woman and is also not a South African.

Kathindi made history in October 2005 when she became the first woman dean — a head of a cathedral — ever to be installed in the Anglican Province of Southern Africa, which includes six countries and the Island of St Helena.

As provincial executive officer, Kathindi will act, among other things, as secretary of the provincial synod — the highest legislative body of the Anglican Church in southern Africa. She will also act as secretary to the synod of bishops.

Ndungane, who held the position of PEO under Archbishop Desmond Tutu before he himself became a bishop and later archbishop, said Kathindi was "a highly competent person" with much experience in administrative matters. She was general secretary of the Namibian Council of Churches from 1999 until 2005.

"In addition to her administrative ability, she is a deeply spiritual person and the appointment of a woman into this position is a recognition of the diversity within our church in the Southern African region," said the archbishop.

Kathindi is married to an architect and has two teenage children.

She said in a statement: "I am humbled and thrilled to be able serve my church as PEO. I know by God's grace I'll be able to deliver."