On the 25th of January 1944 the Reverend Florence Li Tim-Oi, from the Diocese of Hong Kong and South China, was the first woman to be ordained priest in the Anglican Communion. 

She was ordained by Bishop Ronald Hall in the face of much opposition. On this special anniversary a service of celebration was held in St Martin in the Fields in London. The preacher was the Rt Revd Rose Hudson-Wilkin, Bishop of Dover, and the service was led by the granddaughter of Bishop Hall, the Revd Frances Shoesmith. 

This year we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the ordination of women in the Church of England and we will host a special celebration of this anniversary on Saturday 9 March. Dean Jo was delighted to attend the service in London. This year the Anglican Church in New Zealand celebrates 47 years of the ordination of women as priests. In this special anniversary year we celebrate all women who serve God’s church as deacons and priests.

Image of Reverend Florence Li Tim-Oi from Grace Cathedral, other images by Toby Shepheard