Thank God for Women Priests

by Gerry Lynch last modified 30 Apr, 2014 02:37 PM

Dean and Bishop to attend national celebration of 20 years of women in the priesthood at St Paul's

Thank God for Women Priests

The Dean of Salisbury, the Very Revd June Osborne DL

Thousands of people will gather in London on Saturday, 3 May, to mark the 20th anniversary of the ordination of women to the priesthood at a service at St Paul’s Cathedral at which the Archbishop of Canterbury will be preaching.

The occasion starts at 2.00pm with a welcome and address at Westminster Abbey, followed by a walk of witness from the Abbey to St Paul’s Cathedral for the service at 5.00pm.

Every woman ordained in 1994 has been invited to take part in the event and all of England’s 42 dioceses will be represented. 

The service will celebrate and affirm nationally the contribution made to the life of the Church and nation by women ordained as priests since 1994, and in the future.  Between March and July in 1994 every diocese in the Church of England ordained some women for the first time; altogether there were 1500 such women candidates.

The Bishop of Salisbury, the Right Revd Nicholas Holtam, will lead a group of 20 people from the Diocese in attendance. The Dean of Salisbury, the Very Reverend June Osborne DL, will represent the Diocese as she takes part in the service as she reflects on being ordained in 1994, and by Salisbury Cathedral Girl Choristers who will be singing at the service.  A large number of the serving women priests in the diocese of Salisbury who were ordained in 1994, either in Salisbury Cathedral or elsewhere, will also be attending the procession and service.

The Dean of Salisbury said “Like all special days in your life the memory of my own ordination at St Paul’s Cathedral is still vivid. I feel immensely privileged to have seen history changed in those months of welcoming women into the ministry of the church.  This is the season for celebration and thanksgiving because opening the ordained ministry to women has been the true and right thing to do. Both women and men have spiritual skills and gifts to offer. Both women and men are charged with making the world a better place and defending the poor. Women as well as men make good clergy who serve their communities and pray for their people.  Many people have good reason to give thanks for the inclusion of women into the ministry of the Church and will want to celebrate this 20th anniversary with us.”

Music will be sung by Salisbury Cathedral Girl Choristers alongside the St Paul’s Cathedral Consort. The joint choirs sing movements from the Widor Messe and the girl choristers sing the anthem King of Glory by William Harris.

All people are welcome to watch the service from the big screen in Paternoster Square.  Unfortunately owing to the large number of 1994 ordinands attending, there are no general admittance tickets to attend the service inside the Cathedral.

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