Celebrating Women’s Ministry – 30th Anniversary

19th April 2024

Coventry Cathedral is celebrating the 30th anniversary of women’s ordination this Sunday honouring the first women to join the diocese and all those who have followed.

Celebrating the 30th Anniversary of Women’s Ministry

Women who were ordained priest at Coventry Cathedral on 23rd April 1994 – and in other cathedrals that year –  have been invited to lead the procession for the Ordination Anniversary Service which will include some liturgy from the original 1994 service.

And the diocese has been sharing stories and testimonies of women’s ministry across their social media to mark the occasion.

A spokesperson for the diocese said:

The service will be looking back to 1994, celebrating where we are today as well as looking forward with excitement.

“Looking back, we will be giving thanks for the original 35, as well as the diocese and cathedral for acting so fast.

“We will be celebrating the incredible ministry of women across the diocese today (lay and ordained) as well as looking to the future for our leaders to be. 

A photographic exhibition featuring self-portraits of women who have served the Diocese of Chichester opens in Chichester Cathedral this weekend.

The portraits will be on display alongside short reflections provided by the sitters, upon their ministry, daily life and guidance to those seeking to be part of life of a church.

The first women were ordained as priests in the Diocese of Chichester on 15th May 1994.

The Revd Canon Vanessa Baron was part of the first cohort of women to be ordained at St. Paul’s Cathedral in 1994 and now serves as Canon Residentiary and Treasurer of Chichester Cathedral. She said:

“Our hope is that this exhibition will celebrate the energy, imagination and faith that women priests have demonstrated. 

“It also gives us an opportunity to thank those who have supported us down the years.” 

As well as the exhibition, a special Eucharist will take place at the Cathedral on Monday 13th May.

The exhibition opens on Monday (22nd April) until the end of May and the portraits, and stories will also be shared on the Cathedral’s and the diocese’s social media.

Throughout the year all our cathedrals will be marking this milestone giving thanks to God for the priestly ministry of women with events and services.