Sally Axworthy to succeed Nigel Baker as British ambassador to the Holy See.
Sally Axworthy will succeed the outgoing British ambassador to the Holy See, Nigel Baker, whose imminent departure is being marked by a special ecumenical service at the Oratory of St Francis Xavier del Caravita at 18.00 on 28 May.
The farewell ceremony will feature a performance by London's Sutton Chorale and will be presided over by Bishop Brian Farrell, from the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity, with homily by Revd Tim Macquiban, director of the Methodist Ecumenical Office in Rome and pastor of the city’s Ponte S. Angelo Methodist Church.
Ambassador Baker, who leaves Rome this summer after five years, has a reputation as an efficient, hard-working diplomat who was instrumental in reinforcing Vatican support for Britain to remain in the European Union ahead of the upcoming referendum.
A highlight of Ambassador Baker's tenure at the Vatican was the visit of Queen Elizabeth II who had an audience with Pope Francis at his residence at Casa S. Marta, accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, in April 2014.
Baker's successor, Sally Axworthy, is a married mother-of-four whose diplomatic career has included several positions in London and overseas, most recently serving at the North Africa Department.
Axworthy, who begins her new role at the Vatican in August, will become the second British woman to hold the position, after Kathyrn Colvin who served as British ambassdor to the Holy See from 2002-2005.