Cat no. 1305

Ordination of Priests

Running time11:06 Colour Sound 1994 Norwich, Norfolk

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The ceremony in Norwich Cathedral on 30th April, 1994 to ordain the first women priests in the diocese.



The opening shot shows the Order of Service. Shots of The Close, the Norwich School and of the Cathedral. The commentary explains the progression of women to the point where they can be ordained as priests. Since 1987, women have been ordained deacons. 1994 is the first year where women can be ordained as priests after serving for a year as a deacon.

In the service, 20 women are to be ordained. There are interior shots of the Cathedral showing the congregation seated awaiting the arrival of the Bishop of Norwich and the Candidates. The Bishop of Norwich, with the Bishops of Lynn and Thetford and three Archdeacons, enter through the West Door along with the candidates, the Chaplain, the choir and the precentor. The commentary explains that tickets had to be issued and close-circuit television used to relay the ceremony to all of those who wishes to b present.

The Bishop of Norwich preaches the sermon. Candidates called include Vivian Elphick of Oulton Broad, Liz Smith of Lowestoft and Kirlees, Sheila Money of Swaffham and Janice Scott of Fakenham. They stand in front of the Bishops whilst the litany is sung by the choir. Those seen during the laying on of hands include Dorothy Green, Anne Knight of Costessey, and Hilary Wakeman. Each is presented with the chalice of their church and a bible. The commentary explains that the chalice of Hempnall was made in 1704 by Elizabeth Hazelwood, a woman silversmith. They proceed to the high altar for Eucharist and then help to distribute the Eucharist to the congregation. As the procession departs through the West Door, he commentary recalls the previous professions of many of the new priests. One was a physiotherapist. Two were senior nurses. One was a head teacher and another a missionary teacher. Outside the cathedral the priests share their day with their families and well wishers.

In the last part of the film the Reverend Hilary Wakeman gives a service at St. Clement's Church in Norwich. Over film of her and her female deacon giving the sacrament, she explains the threat that people felt at the idea of women priests. The film ends with a shot of St. Clement Church on the corner of Magdalen Street and Colegate.

Featured People:

The Bishop of Norwich; The Bishop of Lynm; The Bishop of Thetford; The Reverend Vivian Elphick of Oulton Broad; The Reverend Liz Smith of Lowestoft and Kirlees; The Reverend Sheila Money of Swaffham; The Reverend Janice Scott of Fakenham; The Reverend Dorothy Green; The Reverend Anne Knight of Costessey; The Reverend Hilary Wakeman; Elizabeth Hazelwood; silversmith

Featured Organisations:

The Church of England

Featured Events:

The ceremony in Norwich Cathedral on 30th April, 1994 to ordain the first women priests in the diocese

Featured Buildings:

Norwich Cathedral; The Norwich School; St. Clement's Church, Norwich

David Cleveland; Robin Williams

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