Easter 2014

The Easter story was told in instalments this year across two of our family services on 6 April and 4 May
We first explored the story of Jesus arriving in Jerusalem on Palm Sunday and the children made palm branches to carry in procession following Jesus riding on a donkey. Then we heard about Jesus’ Last Supper with his friends and enthusiastically shared in a meal of bread dipped in grape juice.
During the next service we successfully guessed the names of Jesus’ close friends and then the young people acted out the story of them all going to pray in the Garden of Gethsemane (mainly falling asleep after a good meal instead of staying awake to pray with their friend Jesus).
Then we saw Jesus being arrested, tried and taken away to die. His body was placed in the tomb, but on Easter morning the angel rolled away the stone and the tomb was empty. Jesus’s friend Mary Magdalene turned around and was amazed to see Jesus there in the garden, risen from the dead.
We all celebrated with another Easter Egg hunt!
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Some (rather blurry!) pictures capturing the action from the family service on 4 May.

20 years of Women Priests!

1994-2014: 20 years of women’s ordained ministry as Priests in the Church of England

There was a very good turnout on Saturday 3 May 2014 for the Procession of Witness that started at Church House (next to Westminster Abbey) and walked past the Houses of Parliament, alongside the Thames and then up to St Paul’s Cathedral.

At the start of the special service in the Cathedral, there was a procession of over 700 from amongst the 1000 or so women who had all been ordained across the C of E in the year 1994. Amongst the congregation who stood and applauded as the procession made its way up the aisle were large numbers of women (young and old) who have also been ordained priest since that first historic year. Also present among the many supporters both male and female, were several women from the Roman Catholic Church who still wait in hope for recognition of women’s priestly calling within the wider Church.

Revd Canon Philippa Boardman, Canon Treasurer of St Paul’s, presided at the service and Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby acted as deacon. For a bishop (let alone an archbishop) to take this role at a Eucharist was a very significant break with tradition. One other striking aspect of the service was the delightful effect of hearing an overwhelming majority of female voices resounding joyfully around the Cathedral as soon as the first hymn began!

Veronica, our Vicar, was one of the 1994 ordinands invited to take part in the ceremony. For many, it was a joyful reunion. But also a time to remember those women priests who had died since 1994, having waited so long for the ordination of women to be possible.

The slide show starts with pictures from 17 April 1994 and continues with photos from 3 May 2014.