Transgender vicar Carol Stone dies of cancer

Reverend Carol Stone Image copyright PA
Image caption Carol Stone has been described as a "true priest"

The first serving Church of England transgender vicar has died from cancer at the age of 60.

The Reverend Carol Stone died on Saturday following a battle with pancreatic cancer.

The vicar of St Philip's Church in Upper Stratton and St Peter's Church in Penhill, Wiltshire, Ms Stone underwent gender reassignment surgery in 2000.

The Bishop of Swindon, Lee Rayfield, said: "She was a really true priest who overcame a huge amount in her life."

'Overcame setbacks'

Ordained as Peter Stone in 1978, the vicar served at Bradford-on-Avon and was chaplain and head of religious studies at Dauntsey's School in West Lavington.

In 1996, she took up a post in Upper Stratton, and four years later announced her decision to undergo gender reassignment surgery.

The Church decided there was no ethical or ecclesiastical reason why she could not continue ministry, and in 2000, Carol Stone returned to St Philip's Church to a standing ovation from her congregation.

"She and [her] colleagues really worked hard and overcame one setback after another," said Dr Rayfield.

"She was a really true priest who overcame a huge amount in her life and a huge amount with other people, and I'll remember her with great affection."

A regular contributor to radio, Ms Stone received a National Broadcasting Award from the Sandford St Martin Trust in 1979.

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