Saturday, 10 November 2007

Women priests and their continuing battle

When the Rev Dr Jennifer Cooper was ordained at Bristol Cathedral a month ago, it was a moment of uncomplicated joy. "I was overwhelmed to be surrounded by so many people, sharing in this very powerful moment," she says. "I was finally going to fulfil my calling."

On the surface, few ceremonies could offer more hope to a Church of England fighting for survival than an ordination. It is a sign of new life, at a time when Sunday attendance threatens to dip below a million.

And, since the ordination of women was approved exactly 15 years ago tomorrow, their presence is now taken for granted: more than 2,000 out of 9,500 Anglican clergy are women, as are almost half of trainee priests. And yet no issue has divided the Church so violently in recent times as that of women priests. Read more
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