Celebrating 30 years of Women Priests

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On Sunday 24th March Revd Sarah went to a service at Southwark Cathedral commemorating the 30th anniversary of the ordination of women priests in the Diocese of Southwark. The Church of England were a bit late to the party, Florence Li Tim-Oi was the first woman to be ordained to the priesthood in the Anglican Communion, on 25 January 1944, you can read about her story by clicking here.

Sarah was expecting an uplifting and affirming service and she was not disappointed. What she wasn’t expecting was the discovery that she happened to be sitting directly behind Immanuel Church Alumni, Revd Mary Watts! Revd Mary was one of the pioneering women ordained priest in 1994, having become a deacon in 1987. There was joy and delight and it felt like one of those ‘God moments’. The past and present of Immanuel and St Andrew church coming together. Also present, and connecting the two strands, Nina, a faithful longstanding member, first of St Andrew Church and then Immanuel and St Andrew’s when the parishes joined. Three women, together representing past and present, lay and ordained. A wonderful recognition and celebration of how God calls women as well as men to love and serve within the church.

Here is a prayer prayed as part of the service: God’s gifts and mercies have been lavished upon us with abundance. This day we celebrate all the faithful women who have used their gifts and shared God’s mercies with us. May we, inspired by God’s grace renew our commitment to serve, to listen and to answer God’s call: to live and work to his praise and glory. Amen