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Scenes of sunshine and joy as women celebrate 20 years of priesthood

06 May 2014

The sun shone throughout the day as hundreds 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.

SEE IMAGES FROM THE SERVICE

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.

DOWNLOAD THE ORDER OF SERVICE

Readings were given by the Archdeacon of Rochdale, The Venerable Cherry Vann, and by The Right Reverend Barry Rogerson, former Bishop of Bristol and the first bishop to ordain women in 1994.

Two moving testimonies were delivered by the Dean of Salisbury, The Very Reverend June Osborne, and by The Reverend Kate Boardman, Assistant Curate of St Mary’s, Heworth.

Music included a new work by Errollyn Wallen and was sung by the girl choristers of Salisbury Cathedral, alongside the St Paul's Cathedral Consort.

Owing the level of interest in the service, a large screen relayed the service live outside the Cathedral. More than 300 gathered to watch and receive Communion.

Read and watch some of the weekend's press coverage
Telegraph: Twenty years of women priests: And the Church has survived just fine
BBC News: March through London to mark 20 years of women priests
Christian Today: 20 years of women priests celebrated at St Paul's Cathedral
BBC News: Women priest march: 'A day to celebrate an amazing job'
Evening Standard: Just Welby: Church of England has a 'long way to go' to achieve equality for women
Telegraph: Female priests have suffered, says Justin Welby
Times (£): Welby: The Church has a long way to go in the acceptance of female priests
Church Times: Sunshine celebration for 20 years of women's priesthood
Sky News Australia: Women priests celebrate anniversary
ITV News: Church of England celebrates 20 years of women clergy
Huffington Post: Justin Welby Says Church Of England 'Has Long Way To Go' Over Ordaining Women
Belfast Telegraph: Archbishop plea over women priests
Bedford Today: Vicar from Marston among hundreds celebrating ordination of women, at service held at St Paul’s
ITV Meridian: Archbishop of Canterbury leads service to celebrate 20 years of women clergy
ITV Meridian: Archbishop of Canterbury: The Church of England still has a "long way to go"
Yahoo News: 20 years on, marchers celebrate Britain's first female priests
Wolverhampton Express & Star: Archbishop plea over women priests
Shropshire Star: Archbishop plea over women priests
Dundee Courier: Archbishop plea over women priests
3 News, New Zealand: Hundreds celebrate anniversary of women priests
The Yorkshire Star: Archbishop plea over women priests
Ecumenical News: Anglican leader ponders why first woman priest only ordained 20 years ago
Western Daily Press: Welby apologises for 'hurt' over ordination scars
Daventry Express: Archbishop plea over women priests
Church of England: Angela Berners-Wilson talks about being part of the first ordination of women priests
Nottingham Post: Revd Karen Rooms: How to get women into top positions
Halifax Courier: Archbishop plea over women priests
Anglican Communion News Service: Archbishop Justin's sermon at service to mark 20 years of women priests
Eastern Daily Press: Archdeacon reflects on the ordination of women priests
Canterbury Times: Service celebrating the ordination of female priests this weekend
Frome Standard: First female priest helps celebrate 20 years of women in the ministry

Canon Philippa was also interviewed live on BBC Breakfast, Radio 4 Today and BBC News Channel as well as the local BBC radio stations for: Gloucestershire, Shropshire, Humberside, Leicester, Tees, Cumbria, Jersey, Guernsey, Sheffield, Cambridgeshire, London, Lancashire and Three Counties.
The Archbishop assisted Canon Philippa Boardman during the service

The Archbishop assisted Canon Philippa Boardman during the service   Enlarge

The Cathedral was packed with women priests and their supporters

The Cathedral was packed with women priests and their supporters   Enlarge

The Archbishop delivered his sermon and apologised the hurt caused

The Archbishop delivered his sermon and apologised the hurt caused   Enlarge

Communion is given outside the Cathedral

Communion is given outside the Cathedral   Enlarge

Archbishop Justin Welby poses for a photograph with the 'class of 1994'

Archbishop Justin Welby poses for a photograph with the 'class of 1994'   Enlarge