Church in Wales Celebrates Ten Years of Women Priests

Dioceses across the Church in Wales are celebrating ten years of women priests within the Church this month.

Women were first ordained as priests in the Church in Wales ten years ago on the weekend of 11 and 12 January 1997, with ordination services taking place in all six Welsh cathedrals at the time.

Each diocese will mark the anniversary in its own way. In the Diocese of Monmouth, there was a Eucharist at 2pm on Saturday 6 January in the Priory Church of St Mary, Monmouth. The Bishop of Monmouth, Rt Rev Dominic Walker OGS presided and the preacher was Rev Sister Una Kroll who was an early campaigner for women's ordination and the first to be ordained priest in St Woolos cathedral, Newport.

The provincial celebration to mark the occasion will be a Eucharist in Llandaff Cathedral at 7.30pm on Tuesday 23 January. This will be a historic occasion because Bishop Christina Odenberg of Sweden will be presiding - the first time the cathedral has had a woman bishop at its altar. The preacher will be Ven Joy Tetley, Archdeacon of Worcester. BBC Wales will be recording the service for broadcast on Sunday 28 January.

"The anniversary is a time both to celebrate the past and to imagine the future," said a Church in Wales press release. This will be the theme of a conference which will take place at St Michael's College, Llandaff, on 22 - 24 January. The conference will reflect on the situation in which women's ministry finds itself today and ask questions about the future.

The Governing Body of the Church in Wales is due to hold an initial debate on the question of women bishops at its April meeting.