The Archbishop of Canterbury welcomed more than 80 ordained women to Lambeth Palace March 1 for a service celebrating 25 years of women’s ordination to the priesthood in the Church of England.

The guests included many women who were among the first to be ordained in 1994, some laypeople who were active in the campaign for the ordination of women, and ordinands.

The Rev. Isabelle Hamley, the archbishop’s chaplain, preached the sermon.

Five women in the episcopate attended the service: Bishop Karen Gorham of Sherborne, Bishop Helen-Ann Hartley of Ripon, Bishop Emma Ineson of Penrith, Bishop Libby Lane of Derby, and Bishop Jo Bailey Wells of Dorking.

Archbishop Justin Welby welcomed guests to the service and gave the blessing.

“Many of those here today have been pioneers as they work out what it means to be an ordained woman in the Church of England — not just for themselves and their communities, but for the whole of the body of Christ,” he said during the service. “Today let us bear witness to those who paved the way in 1994, as well as upholding those whose way into ministry has been opened up since.”

Adapted from a Lambeth Palace release

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