HRC Blog

HRC Mourns Loss of Pro-Equality Episcopal Bishop Jane Dixon

Post submitted by Sharon Groves, HRC Director, Religion and Faith Program

It is with sadness and tremendous gratitude that we mourn the loss of a heroine for equality, Bishop Jane Dixon, who died in her sleep on Christmas morning.  Our hearts go out to her husband of 52 years, her children and grandchildren and to those who had the privilege to be beneficiaries of her ministry both in Washington, D.C. and nationally.

Bishop Dixon was the second woman bishop in the Episcopal Church and the third in the Anglican Communion. She was elected bishop suffragan of the Diocese of Washington in 1992 and served until her retirement in August 2002. From January 2001 until June 2002, she held ecclesiastical authority for the diocese as bishop pro tempore. After her retirement, she was senior advisor for interreligious relations at the Interfaith Alliance, where she had served as board chair during her tenure as bishop. In 2011, she shared that organization’s Walter Cronkite Award with journalist Jim Lehrer.  

Throughout her ministry she was a stalwart champion for justice and a public advocate for LGBT people in the church and outside of it and guided the Episcopal church and the nation through a divisive period when the authority of gay and lesbian clergy and women clergy were regularly assailed.  

She is survived by her husband, David McFarland Dixon, Sr., her three children, David, Jr., Edward and Mary, and her grandchildren, Ed, Emma, Madeline, Mack, Rosalie, and Lucy.

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