Celebrating Men and Women Working Together in Ministry

Published: 23rd May 2014

There was celebration at Lichfield Cathedral on Saturday as the Diocese marked the 20th anniversary of the ordination of the first women priests.

People from all parts of the diocese gathered in the cathedral for a service that looked back to 23rd and 24thApril 1994 when fifty one women were ordained priest in Lichfield cathedral. This followed the General Synod decision in 1992 which gave women the opportunity to take up their rightful places in the Church of England alongside men in the priesthood.

"It was a moving, affirming and inspiring event" says Revd Preb Jane Tillier, the current Diocesan Adviser for Women in Ministry. "It was a wonderful recognition of how far we've come and also a moment to recognise how far we have yet to travel."

Some fifteen hundred women were ordained priest in 1994. Many of these pioneers are still serving in our diocese today. The ministry of women, both lay and ordained, continues to enrich the life of the church in so many ways: far from just looking back, readings and prayers were led by current and future curates.

The preacher, the Revd Prebendary Pippa Thorneycroft, was one of those women ordained in 1994 here in Lichfield Cathedral. She served as Diocesan Adviser for Women in Ministry from 1993 to 2000 and is now, among other things, a Chaplain to the Queen. The current DAWM is the Revd Prebendary Dr Jane Tillier, who was also ordained priest in 1994 (in the Diocese of Sheffield) and who presided at the communion assisted by bishops and archdeacons. A number of the hymns and the organ voluntary at the end of this service, were used at the ordination services here in April 1994.

Revd Preb Pippa Thorneycroft, Bishop Jonathan Gledhill & Revd Preb Jane Tillier

Above: Revd Preb Pippa Thorneycroft, Bishop Jonathan Gledhill, Revd Preb Jane Tillier.

Top photo: some of those priested in 1994 and now in Lichfield Diocese: Olwen Smith, Carol Hathorne, Pam Freeman, Melia Cope, Margret Smallman, tbc, Mary Morris, Christine Polhill, Penny Millichamp, Gill Waters, Pippa Thorneycroft, Mandy Rylands, JYT, Jill Warren, Lesley Bentley, Sheila Finn, Mary Brotherston, Nita Edwards, Chris Carter

Page last updated: Friday 23rd May 2014 11:13 AM
Powered by Church Edit