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