Rosemary with grandchild

Skye’s very first woman priest described her ordination before a packed Portree church as “wonderful” and “humbling”.

Over 100 people attended St Columbus leaving little more than standing room only as former music teacher Rosemary Bungard completed the historic ceremony.

For Rosemary, a resident on Raasay, the ceremony, led by Rt Rev Kevin Pearson, Bishop of Argyll and The Isles, was the culmination of years of work and a moment she truly savoured.

She said; “It really was a wonderful moment and at the same time I felt very humbled.

“The church was full to capacity with congregation members, friends and family. Several retired priests from St Columbus also came along and it was also really nice to have representatives from the dioceses of Moray and Caithness where I had placements in the lead up to my ordination.

“Also it was lovely to have representatives from other churches across Skye there for the occasion. It really made the day complete.”

Full church for the ceremony

A former music teacher at Portree High School she also conducted the Skye & Lochalsh Young Music Makers Orchestra and the Skye & Lochalsh Orchestra. In addition to her duties at Portree she currently plays a similar role at St Mary’s in Sleat and St Michael and All Angels over on Raasay where she lives.

Rosemary’s ordination to the priesthood is in fact only the second to have ever taken place on Skye. The first was Mark Watham in the 1980’s.

Rosemary, initially trained for the ministry in the Scottish Episcopal Institute, the Scottish Episcopal Church’s theological college.
This training took place over several years and included a mix of distance learning, residential periods and placements in various churches. The Institute trains clergy and lay readers for ministry in the Scottish Episcopal Church.