Thirty years ago, on the 5th of December 1992, history was made in our Diocese with five women deacons ordained as priests: the Reverends Joan Claring-Bould (the diocese’s first woman deacon), Flo Monahan, Sue Pain, Sister Juliana SI and Susan Straub.

It was the first ordination after General Synod permitted women to be priests, and only the second in the Anglican Church of Australia. Since then, more than 900 women have been ordained priest in Australia.

We welcome Joan, Sr Juliana, Susan, and Susanna back to this service of celebration, thanksgiving, and recollection. We are sorry that Flo is unable to be with us.

As it is a special occasion, a fitting anthem composed by Rachel Bruerville, will be sung for the first time. We thank Rachel, the choir, and those whose generous contributions financed the commission.

We welcome most warmly Bishop Keith Rayner to the service as Archbishop of Adelaide then Melbourne. Primate Bishop Keith played a crucial part as the Australian Church grappled with the thorny issue of women’s ordination.  He will open an exhibition of photographs showing some of the diocese’s pioneers of women’s ministry and leadership and launch a commemorative publication to mark the occasion.

Welcome one and all.

Dr Janet Scarfe, National President of the Movement for the Ordination of Women 1989-1995

To commemorate a magnificent occasion and service, the book publication by Janet Scarfe and her visual presentation and both available online.