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News: 𝟯𝟬 𝘆𝗲𝗮𝗿𝘀 𝘀𝗶𝗻𝗰𝗲 𝘄𝗼𝗺𝗲𝗻 𝘄𝗲𝗿𝗲 𝗳𝗶𝗿𝘀𝘁 𝗼𝗿𝗱𝗮𝗶𝗻𝗲𝗱 𝗶𝗻 𝗚𝘂𝗶𝗹𝗱𝗳𝗼𝗿𝗱

On Sunday 24 April 1994, the Cathedral witnessed one of the first groups of women being ordained as priests following the acceptance of women into this sacred role. The service was a momentous occasion, the order of service is held within our archives. Presiding at this service was Bishop Michael Adie whose funeral service was held at the cathedral last month. He had been instrumental in introducing and proposing the measure to allow women to become ordained at General Synod. One of the women ordained that day in Guildford is someone who will be familiar to you all, our very own Canon Mavis.

𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗥𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗿𝗲𝗻𝗱 𝗖𝗮𝗻𝗼𝗻 𝗠𝗮𝘃𝗶𝘀 𝗪𝗶𝗹𝘀𝗼𝗻

In 1979 Mavis began training as a deaconess, at the time, the most senior role available to women in the Church of England. She was licensed as Deaconess in October 1986, shortly after she arrived at Christ Church, Epsom with her husband Mark when he became vicar there. In addition to her support for Mark in Epsom, Mavis began work in the Diocese (appointed by Bishop Michael Adie) in a role that grew to be the Diocesan Adviser on Mission & Evangelism. After many years’ debate, the Church of England in 1992 agreed that women could be admitted to the priesthood, to allow time for training, scheduling the first ordinations for 1994. Mavis started down this path. As the usual interim step, she was ordained Deacon and, in January 1994, was one of the first two women to be admitted as honorary Canon at the Cathedral. On the morning of Sunday 24 April 1994, she was one of the first 32 women in the diocese to be ordained priest, here at the Cathedral. At a special service at Christ Church that evening for the first time Mavis was celebrant at a communion service.

📸 Mavis leading the 24 April 1994 Communion service

Added Wednesday 24th April 2024