At a private, ceremony in Wales, the civil partnership of the controversial transgendered bishop, the Rt Revd Jennifer Jones and Ms Margaret Nugent was solemnized yesterday. Bishop Jennifer, formerly the Revd James Jones, was married to Ms Nugent in 1990. They divorced in 1992 when Revd Jones finally underwent surgery an emerged as Jennifer. In 1993 she was appointed suffragan bishop of Llandi thereby becoming the Anglican Communion’s first transgended bishop. The Archbishop of Wales told the press at the time of the announcement At last we in Wales have got round to doing something ahead of the rest them. I am sure that James — I mean Jennifer — will bring her own insight and personal history to the task of Bishop’
There was never any doubt in my mind/ said the newly appointed bishop, ‘that Margaret and I would get together again. It has been a difficult time for me, as the Communion’s first transgendered bishop. Death threats mean that I have to wear a bulletproof vest at all times, even during confirmations. Having Margaret beside me will give me the strength I need to carry on. We are doing this for the children’
Bishop Jones has two sons by his first marriage to Kathleen, which was dissolved in 1989. Ms Nugent has a daughter by her first marriage to Rodney, which was dissolved eighteen years ago.
‘I just hope that people will be able to accept us as just a normal British family,’ commented Nugent after the ceremony at the Register Office and before the Nuptial Mass in St David’s Church, Wrexham. Jennifer has travelled a long and lonely road, but her experience has prepared her for the many and varied demands of episcopal ministry. We believe that we will bea wholesome role model, both in the diocese and in the wider church, of a couple who have been faithful to their marriage vows, a family which can endure, whatever life throws at them.’
Bishop Jones was trained for the priesthood at Westcott House, Cambridge, and is a regular contributor to Thought for the Day. Margaret Nugent is in training for the ministry, and expects to serve as the bishop’s chaplain.