The Rev Canon Christine Froude has been appointed the first woman Archdeacon of Malmesbury.

Mrs Froude, 63, who is currently priest-in-charge of St Mary’s Church at Shirehampton in Bristol, will be the Diocese of Bristol’s first female archdeacon.

In her new role, which she will formally take up in April after a ceremony in Bristol Cathedral, she will support all the parishes across North Wiltshire.

Malmesbury Abbey vicar Neill Archer was delighted with the appointment and will be at her licensing ceremony.

He said: “It is great news that the diocese is appointing its first female archdeacon.

“I welcome that decision personally.

“The Diocese of Bristol was actually the first in the country to appoint women priests.”

The title of Archdeacon of Malmesbury stems from the spiritual and historical significance of the town and the abbey.

The mother-of-two and wife of David, Mrs Froude worked for Midland Bank for 17 years and became head of training research at its City of London International Division before having a career break to raise her children. She was ordained in 1995.

She said: “I am mindful of the responsibilities but also the many opportunities that this role offers and am delighted to be the first woman archdeacon in the Diocese of Bristol where I was ordained.”