A Bishop's Wife

We Gather Together

Ann conceived of and wrote the foreword for a cookbook, We Gather Together: A Cook Book of Menus and Recipes by the Wives of Episcopal Bishops, published in 1976. Proceeds from sales of the book were donated to feeding the hungry through the Presiding Bishop’s Fund for World Relief. Read the forward and view recipes here.

“No special training for a savvy gal.” 5

Ann Allin played a significant part in Allin’s life as Presiding Bishop. Upon election at the 1973 General Convention, before accepting the position, Allin requested that he have twenty-four hours to pray for God’s help and to ask Ann to take the journey with him, and she did. Allin had a high regard for his wife’s political sensibilities, even as he acknowledged the limited role of a bishop’s wife in ecclesiastical matters: “The best bishop’s wife is a gracious loving woman who is married to a fellow who’s a bishop. No special training for a savvy gal.” 6

Ann described life with a Presiding Bishop as an education in modesty and humility. She was expected, as was customary, to support her husband in his leadership role.  Her ample, and widely acknowledged, skills as a charming and welcoming presence, gracious hostess, and personal anchor provided Jack with a grounded home life.  Ann often hosted guests and once described her shock at Jack’s request that she prepare a simple meal of meatloaf for what she considered a very important gathering. She recalled his sense that traveling people preferred the simplicity and company around a home-cooked meal as a break from fancy restaurant food. The dinner was a success and lent an epigram to Jack Allin’s personal touch in developing extended relationships: “never sell a meatloaf short.”

Ann and Allin clapping

The Allins were honorees at a special musical tribute during the House of Bishops’ meeting in Jackson, MS in 1984. They were given these handmade rocking chairs with needlepoint pillows inscribed, “The Lady Ann” and “His Big Grace.”

Husband and Father
A Bishop's Wife