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Methodist women’s ruby day

27 June 2014

SANDY YOUNGSON

Voice of experience: an address by Dr Pauline Webb (left), a former vice-president of the Methodist conference, is watched by the current President, the Revd Ruth Gee

Voice of experience: an address by Dr Pauline Webb (left), a former vice-president of the Methodist conference, is watched by the current President,...

THE Methodist Church in Britain has marked the 40th anniversary of its decision to ordain women to its presbyterate with a special service at Wesley's Chapel, in London.

It is almost 125 years since the Methodist Church first ordained women as deacons; but the first ordination of women to the presbyterate took place 84 years later, at the Methodist Conference, in Bristol, on 2 July 1974.

The first person to serve a sa district chairwoman, the Revd Kathleen Richardson, now Baroness Richardson of Calow, later served as the first female President of the Methodist Conference - the most senior clerical position in the British Methodist Church.

"I am proud that there is no role that women cannot play in the Methodist Church in Britain," the current outgoing President of the Methodist Conference, the Revd Ruth Gee, said. "As one of their successors, I want to thank those women who paved the way. As a female follower of Christ, I want to stand alongside others who do not have a voice, who are unnamed and unseen, even in the Methodist Church."

Ordination services will take place in Birmingham, Coventry, Lichfield, and Wolverhampton this weekend, as part of the 2014 Methodist Conference.

Of the 12 people being ordained as deacons, ten are women, and one is being received into Full Connexion; 18 of the 33 people who will be ordained as presbyters this year are women.

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