The Archbishop of Canterbury has entered a debate over tattoos, defending a priest caught in the midst of social media backlash.
The incoming precentor and residentiary canon designate for Canterbury Cathedral, Rev Wendy Dalrymple, selected for her "creative flair", has been a point of division on Twitter because she has tattoos that cover both her arms.
A photograph of Rev Dalrymple, showcasing her tattoos, led to an online storm. She reported receiving comments critiquing both her faith and her clothing.
Responding on Twitter, she commented: “So not actually resharing but the thread that follows from this charming feedback accuses me of pride, narcissism, mental illness, being an idiot, not believing in God, oh and having a top too tight that will distract men. How’s your day going?”
The online vitriol elicited a response from the Dean of Canterbury Cathedral - Very Rev Dr David Monteith – who pledged to "root out" the misogyny she had encountered in recent days.
Echoing this sentiment, the Archbishop of Canterbury expressed his support via Twitter: “I completely agree with @davidrmmonteith. We’re delighted to welcome the Rev Wendy Dalrymple to Canterbury Cathedral. I thank God for her passion for sharing the love of Christ with all. It will be a privilege to serve alongside her.”
Rev Dalrymple will be welcomed and licensed by The Rt Rev Rose Hudson-Wilkin, Bishop of Dover, and installed at Canterbury Cathedral on Sunday 5 November at 5.30pm.