News from WATCH

Forty years on; A Woman’s Place is in the House of Bishops

July 4th, 2019

2019 is a year of anniversaries for those who rejoice to see women included in all forms of ministry, ordained and lay, in the Church of England.  We are celebrating 25 years since women were ordained priest; 5 years since the legislation to enable women to be appointed bishops was passed in General Synod; fifty… Read more »

Twenty five years on…..Doves, hope and challenge

July 2nd, 2019

Memory sometimes plays tricks on you, and especially if you are looking back 25 years. But I think that  I can remember it quite clearly amidst all the excitement and joy in Ripon Cathedral on that day. It was Trinity Sunday morning in 1994, and there were two specific ‘moments’ that will never leave me…. Read more »

Twenty-five years on: A Service of Thanksgiving at Ripon Cathedral Saturday 9th April 1994

July 1st, 2019

A week after Easter 1994, MOW organised a final conference and a national service of Thanksgiving that women were finally to be ordained as priests. It took place in Ripon Cathedral and was an occasion of great joy.   The Rev Elizabeth Baxter, who has written this, is the Director of Holyrood House,  a retreat house… Read more »

Twenty Five years on…..becoming more fully myself all the time.

June 30th, 2019

I was ordained priest at Ripon Cathedral and the memories of the day are of warmth and intense joy.  As the procession approached the main door of the cathedral it was as though creation joined in with our pleasure as white doves flew down towards us. I had been a deacon for six years during… Read more »

The first ordained woman in the Channel Islands

June 29th, 2019

Linda Le Vasseur, who was the first woman ordained in Guernsey, was ordained priest in 1996. We are including her story among our memories of the first ordinations of women to the priesthood as a reminder of those women who were the “first” in a variety of places, and as a reminder that it took… Read more »

The Fall of the Berlin Wall, GPS and the Ordination of Women: the liberation of the Church of England? 25 years and counting

June 29th, 2019

The Rev Dr Carrie Pemberton Ford was one of those ordained priest in Ely diocese in 1994, and was one of the members of WATCH’s first committee. Here she remembers her ordinations as deacon and then priest, and reflects on the changes that have and have not taken place in the church in the following… Read more »

Congratulations to those women who have recently celebrated 25 years since their ordination to the priesthood.

May 30th, 2019

We continue our celebration of those women who have recently celebrated 25 years since their ordination to the priesthood: Congratulations to the 293 women ordained after Pentecost in 1994 In the diocese of Ely, 25 women were ordained on 28th May In the diocese of Durham, 19 women were ordained on 28th May and 19… Read more »

Here Am I – a photographic exhibition celebrating the 25th anniversary of the first ordinations of women to the priesthood

May 24th, 2019

 Here Am I A special exhibition of photography by the photo storyteller, Jim Grover, has been commissioned by the Bishop of Southwark, The Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the first ordinations of women to the priesthood in the Church of England. It will be held at the Oxo Gallerybetween22 May… Read more »

‘500 churches in the C of E still ban female priests’: Dioceses Commission Review sparks comment in The Sunday Times

May 24th, 2019

A recent article in the Sunday Times (28 April 2019) was headlined: ‘500 churches in C of E still ban female priests’. The report[1] highlighted the number of parishes revealed to have sent a Letter of Request (‘Resolution parishes’) under the 2014 Settlement, asking to receive the episcopal ministry of the Bishops of Beverley, Ebbsfleet,… Read more »

Twenty-five years on; reflections on ministry

May 13th, 2019

Chichester Diocese May 15th In 1992, the Bishop of Chichester, the Rt Rev Eric Kemp, was one of those most vehemently opposed to the ordination of women as priests. Chichester became a diocese where priests who continued to oppose ordained women felt welcome. The same could not always be said for women with a vocation… Read more »