Special service to mark 20 years of women’s ministry

Bishop Julian Henderson
Bishop Julian Henderson
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The Church of England in Lancashire is marking 20 years of women’s ministry.

On Saturday from 11am, a ‘Sharing the Seeds of Life’ service will be held at Blackburn Cathedral, which comes on the back of the recent Diocese vote to support the ordination of women bishops.

Rev Canon Fleur Green, Bishop’s Adviser on Womens’ Ministry, said: “There were originally 13 women ordained in the Blackburn Diocese on May 14, 1994 at St. John’s Church Blackpool and at Lancaster Priory.

“The service is not only giving thanks for the 20 years since then, but will also be a chance to remember key moments and look to the future together.”

The celebratory service will be informal with various activities taking place before the service from 10.15am, including a prayer tree, a well dressing, making badges and the creation of a collage.

The collage is to be made up of photos and memories of the ordinations in 1994 and the intention is to put it on display at the Diocesan Summer Festival in Lytham on June 21 and 22.

After the activities, everyone will be gathered together by the hymn ‘Will you come and follow me?’

Bishop Julian said: “I rejoice in the fact that men and women share together in ordained ministry in our Church today.

“The celebrations come just a month before I shall become the first Bishop of Blackburn personally to ordain women priests.

“I see this as an important step and I hope that our Diocese will be a positive example for the whole Church of England in the way in which it upholds and encourages its women clergy whilst continuing to respect and honour those who are in conscience unable to accept their priestly ministry.”