On 12 March 1994, the first 32 women were ordained as Church of England priests. Celebrate the 20th anniversary of this event with the LSE Library using our recommended research resources.
History of the Ordination
- The Church of England website contains a brief history of the events that led up to the ordination of their first women priests. It includes the text of the Act of Synod of 1993 and the Priests (Ordination of Women) Measure 1993 which received Royal Assent on 5 November 1993.
- Angela Berners-Wilson was the first woman ordained. The Episcopal News Service letter for March 24, 1994 has a photograph of her celebrating her first Eucharist in St. Paul’s Church, Clifton, Bristol.
- In an article entitled – A Woman at the Table – A Personal Reflection on Ten Years of Women as Priests published in Ministry Today Issue 29, October 2003 she reflected on the events.
- The Women’s Library@LSE holds a number of special collections relating to the campaign for the ordination of women. They include the personal papers of Vivienne Lake; Records of the Anglican Group for the Ordination of Women to the Historic Ministry of the Church and Records of the Movement for the Ordination of Women. Materials include minutes of meetings, public campaign materials and even a commemorative teatowel!
- There are also many books and pamphlets on this issue if you search the main LSE library catalogue.
The Impact of Womens Ordination
- For information on the number of Women Church of England clergy consult the latest Church of England statistics.
- Read the Archbishop of Canterbury’s sermon at the St Paul’s Cathedral service to mark the 20th anniversary of women priests.
- Read the statement by Reform (an movement within the Church which is committed to reforming it from within) which asks- Why are we celebrating 20 years of Women priests? Its website also has resources which campaign for future moves such as the creation of women bishops.
- Watch Women and the Church has an account and photographs of the celebrations.
Should there be Women Bishops?
- The BBC website sets out clearly the background to the debate.
- Read the Church of England discussion and viewpoint on their website.
- The main group campaigning for women bishops, Women and the Church (Watch). Their website has campaign news updates.
- Independent websites promoting the cause are Yes 2 Women Bishops and Enough Waiting from the former Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams.
- Forward in Faith is a movement within the church see the statement on their website presents a more conservative viewpoint.
- Anglican Mainstream has a collection of news and resources representing the orthodox Anglican viewpoint.
- Evangelical group Reform has writings and audio files discussing the issues for Christians.
- LSE staff and students can research this topic further by searching for articles using SocIndex LGBT Life with full text and Web of Science