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National Association of Diocesan Advisers in Women’s Ministry

Events to Mark the 20th Anniversary of the Priesting of Women

National Service at St Paul’s Cathedral



(Photograph – Credit: Graham Lacdao/St Paul’s Cathedral)

Saturday 3 May at 5pm – the sun shone throughout the day as thousands of women priests and their supporters came to London to celebrate 20 years since the ordination of women.

It is thought more than 3,000 people marched through the streets of the capital from Westminster Abbey to St Paul’s to mark the anniversary of one of the most significant events in the Church of England’s recent history.

And in his sermon to a packed Cathedral, the Archbishop of Canterbury apologised for the hurt that had been caused by the Church in and before 1994. Justin Welby said: “As a representative of that institution, I want to thank those here today whose costly loyalty, whose scars, make this celebration possible, and to say personally how I grieve that it cost so much, to apologise for my own part in that hurt.”

Before the service began, all women ordained in 1994 entered through the Cathedral’s Great West Doors and received a standing ovation lasting 20 minutes.

The service itself saw the Cathedral’s Treasurer, The Reverend Canon Philippa Boardman, leading the service with the Archbishop on her right-hand-side as an assistant.

Bath and Wells

Saturday 27 September- A Eucharist of Thanksgiving with Bishop Peter Hancock. Three reflections on the  past, the present and the future  will take the place of  a sermon.


Birmingham celebration

On 6th June Bishop David hosted a lovely dinner at the newly rebuilt St Barnabas Church in Erdington for the 1994 women and their guests. Bishop Mark
Santer who ordained the first women in Birmingham was there and Prebendary Rose Hudson-Wilkin, Chaplain to the Speaker of the House of Commons, gave a beautifully encouraging after-dinner speech. She read two inspirational poems by Maya Angelou who had just died – ‘Phenomenal Woman’ and ‘Still I Rise’. It felt a very special evening.


Saturday 24 May – Service of Celebration

Bradford, Ripon and Leeds and Wakefield (in the process of transforming into the Diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales) attended the following service

Saturday 17 May at 11am – York Minster – a Service of Celebration for the Northern Province


In April the Chapel of the St Monica Trust Cote Lane Retirement Village saw a gathering of 11 women priests from the 1994 cohort along with their Chaplain from the retreat who happens now to be the DAWM for Gloucester Diocese, Robbin Clark.



Saturday 10 May at 11am – Celebratory Eucharist in the Cathedral

The 1994 women were invited to bring with them a ‘significant’ young person – maybe family, godson/daughter, or someone who had been at the service 20 years ago as a little child, who would carry a candle and represent the ongoing  journey to the future to which the current journey is leading, having been prepared for by those in the past who worked so hard for change. The  newly formed Canterbury Cathedral Girls Choir made a wonderful contribution to the service.



Saturday 10 May – A Diocesan celebration marked 20 years of women in the priesthood, with a service led Bishop Christopher Cocksworth, and Katrina Scott, Dean of  Women’s Ministry. They were flanked throughout the service by 20 women representing the 20 years, wearing stoles embroidered with their years of  ordination (the stoles and cope were made especially for this occasion by Rev’d Naomi Nixon).


(Photograph – Credit: Martin R. Williams)


Monday 2 June – Half-day conference and a Eucharist in the Cathedral which finished at around 5pm


Saturday 21 June at 1pm Celebratory Eucharist in the Cathedral with the Very Revd. Catherine Ogle preaching


Exeter had a celebration service on Sunday  18 May at 3pm Service of Celebration (non-Eucharistic) in the Cathedral
with the  Ven. Nicola Sullivan, Archdeacon of  Bath and Wells and the SW rep in the House of Bishops.
We are hoping to have a video message from our new Bishop elect Robert  Atwell.


The Gloucester celebration was on May 10.


Saturday 10 May at 3pm

Eucharist in the Cathedral which included a sharing of stories and to be followed by celebratory cake


Wednesday 7 May at 7pm in the Cathedral

Eucharist of Thanksgiving on the Anniversary of the Ordination of first women priests in Hereford


Sunday 11 May at 3pm – Festival Eucharist with the Revd. Libby Lane preaching


Saturday 17 May – A Eucharist of Thanksgiving

Here is a link to the page on our diocesan website about the 20th anniversary service in Lichfield Cathedral.

We were able to send a £212 donation to the Li Tim Oi Foundation from the collection.


Thursday 22 May – Celebrations


Saturday 17 May at 7pm at Manchester Cathedral with the Most Revd. Pat Storey, Bishop of Meath and Kildare preaching

Bishop Pat



Saturday, 10th May, 11am, Newcastle Cathedral: Service of Thanksgiving for Twenty Years of Women Priests’ Ministry in the Diocese of Newcastle with memories of 1994 and Bishop Martin’s reflections on the present and future.

President: The Rt Revd Ingeborg Midttømme, Bishop of Møre. Preacher: The Ven Cherry Vann, Archdeacon of Rochdale and Prolocutor for the Northern Province.


Wednesday 30 April – Seminar with those who have been ordained 20 years and more recently sharing experiences followed by the Eucharist where

the Bishop presided and the women from 1994  concelebrated as well as the current DAWM.


The Diocese of Oxford marked 20 years of women’s priestly ministry with a celebratory Eucharist at Christ Church and a panel discussion at St Mary the Virgin.  Archdeacon Karen Gorham presided at the service, the Revd Prebendary Rose Hudson-Wilkin, chaplain to the Speaker of the House of Commons and Vicar of Dalstone and Haggerston, preached, and our special guest was the Rt Revd Pushpa Lalitha, the first female bishop in the Diocese of Nandyal, South India.  Consort Iridiana were the choir and dancers from the Rambert School performed two pieces reflecting biblical images of women’s ministry.  In the afternoon, Canon Judith Maltby chaired discussion by the Bishop of Buckingham, the Revd Caroline Symcox, Christina Rees and Rose Hudson-Wilkin looking back at the last 20 years and forward to the future.  An exhibition of photographs giving a flavour of the history of women’s ordination in the Diocese, and sketches by artist Emma Self (who braved the downpour to capture the event from Christ Church Quad), drew the interest of attendees and tourists alike.

It was a wonderful day, celebrating women and men working together and ‘sharing the journey .’


Peterborough Diocese marked the 20th anniversary of the ordination of women as priests with a Celebration of Ministry at the Cathedral on Saturday morning.It was a wonderful occasion and well worth doing. The Bishop’s Chaplain, Canon Julie Hutchinson, who was ordained in 1994, presided and the Bishop of Peterborough preached. For those interested, the following links will give you



Sunday 18 May at 6pm – Eucharist


Saturday 28 June – Day of Celebration



Saturday 14 June at 11am – Celebratory Eucharist with President – the Revd Mary Gregory (DAWM) and Preacher – the Ven. Jane Sinclair

St Albans

Thursday 13 March at 7.30pm  – A Eucharist of Thanksgiving at All Saints, Hertford

President-The Ven. Christine Hardman  Preacher – The Rt. Revd. Paul Bayes, Bishop of Hertford

St Edmundsbury and Ipswich

Celebrating 20 Years of Shared Ministry with a Eucharist in the Cathedral on 4th September at 7.00 pm.


Saturday 18 October at 12 noon in Winchester Cathedral – Celebrating Together


Saturday 17 May at 11am – York Minster

Everyone from York Diocese and the Northern Province was invited to this service to celebrate 20 years of women’s priestly ministry in the Church of England.The service  also gave thanks for the witness of Florence Li Tim Oi, the first woman to be ordained priest in the Anglican Communion 70 years ago in 1944. The Dean of York, the Very Revd Vivienne Faull, presided at the Eucharist, and Margaret Sentamu preached.