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30 years since the first women were ordained in Guildford

The ordination of women to the priesthood marked a significant milestone in the Church of England. On Sunday 24 April 1994, Guildford Cathedral witnessed one of the first groups of women being ordained as priests following the acceptance of women into this sacred role. The service was a momentous occasion, and the order of service for this historic event is preserved in the Capitular records of Guildford Cathedral. Presiding at this service was Bishop Michael Adie, whose funeral was held at the cathedral last month. He had been instrumental in introducing and proposing the measure to allow women to become ordained at General Synod.

Here are the names of the remarkable women who were part of this ordination:

Thelma Barrett · Jacqueline Birdseye · Elizabeth Boughton · Audrey Clarke · Sally Davies · Penelope Fleming · Shirley Ford · Pauline Godfrey · Susan Goodwin · Karina Green · Susan Henwood · Evelyn Hughes · June Hughman · Patricia Kettle · Iris Keyes · Anne Long · Valerie Makin · Pauline Moyes · Christine Simons · Barbara Smith · Lorna Smith · Pauline Smith · Barbara Steadman-Allen · Mary Stokes · Joy Todd · Jennifer Tomlinson · Caroline Wareham · Rebecca Watts · Janice White · Jane Whitmore · Mavis Wilson · Helen Woodhead

The sermon during this momentous occasion was delivered by Professor David McClean CBE, who served as the Chairman of the House of Laity of the General Synod. This event marked a significant step forward in recognizing the ministry and leadership of women within the Church of England.

Thirty years later, we continue to celebrate the contributions of women priests, reflecting on their experiences and offering advice to the next generation of women who follow in their footsteps.

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