Ex-Peak District pupil to become New Zealand’s newest bishop

The Rev Canon Dr Eleanor Sanderson, a former student of Lady Manners School in Bakewell, and Hope Valley College, is to be consecrated as a bishop in New Zealand.
The Rev Canon Dr Eleanor Sanderson, a former student of Lady Manners School in Bakewell, and Hope Valley College, is to be consecrated as a bishop in New Zealand.

A former student of Lady Manners School in Bakewell and Hope Valley College is to be consecrated as a bishop in New Zealand.

The Rev Canon Dr Eleanor Sanderson, who grew up in Bradwell and Litton, will take up her new role as Assistant Bishop of Wellington after her consecration on June 2.

She will be the fourth female bishop in the Anglican Church of New Zealand.

Eleanor, whose maiden name was Grourk, moved to New Zealand 17 years ago after being sponsored by Bakewell Rotary Club for a prestigious Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship to study in Wellington in 1999 and 2000.

Eleanor’s mother Jane Chapman, of Chapel-en-le-Frith, will be attending the consecration.

Jane said: “Eleanor still retains a strong warmth of feeling and close links with her home community. She has preached in Tideswell Parish Church on visits home and loves to come back to her roots.”

Eleanor worked in Eyam Church as a youth worker before travelling abroad. She was ordained in 2006 and is currently serving as vicar of St Alban’s, Eastbourne, near Wellington.

She will assist the Bishop of Wellington, the Right Rev Justin Duckworth, who said: “We are so thankful to Ellie and her family for saying ‘yes’ to God’s call. We see a strength and depth of leadership in her that we believe will help catalyse a next generation of leaders among us.”

Married to Tim, a New Zealander, Eleanor, 40, has two sons, Zachary and Joseph, aged nine and seven.

She has a first class honours degree in geography from Bristol University, two master’s degrees and a PhD, travelling widely in Africa, Melanesia and America.