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Celebrating 50 years – of what?

by Michael Ford last modified 10 Sep, 2019 05:21 PM

In advance of the licensing of our new Licensed Lay Ministers at Salisbury Cathedral on Saturday 28 September, Canon Judy Anderson, Associate Warden of LLMs reflects on two big anniversaries in female ministry...

It has been a joy to celebrate this year the 25th anniversary of the ordination of the first women to the priesthood. But did you know that 2019 also sees the 50th anniversary of the admission of the first women to the office of Reader, just over 100 years after its re-establishment by convocation in 1866?

A small number of women were admitted and licensed as Readers in various dioceses around the country in 1969; we can’t find records of any in Salisbury that year, but if you know of anyone, we’d love to hear from you. One of our longest-serving LLMs, Kay Morison, who was licensed in Coventry Diocese in 1974, continues to minister actively, now in the benefice of Branksome Park All Saints in Poole, after serving in several dioceses, including Port Elizabeth in the Province of Southern Africa.

Today we take it for granted that both men and women serve as Licensed Lay Ministers, and there is nothing remarkable about a woman robing to lead worship and preach in our churches. This year, 4 people have completed the 3-year training at Sarum College and will be admitted and licensed as LLMs in Salisbury Cathedral on Saturday 28 September. Do come to the service (at 11 am) to support the candidates and, indeed, all the LLMs of the Diocese as we renew our commitment to God and to the ministry to which he has called us.

May God bless all who minister in his Church, male and female, lay and ordained, as we work together to bring his love to those in our communities and further afield.

Canon Judy Anderson
Associate Warden of LLMs

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