Women priests from the Bedford area joined a host of others to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their ordination.
The Rev Gill Webb, of St Mary’s Church, Marston Moreteyne, was among those at the service held at St Paul’s Cathedral, London, at the weekend.
She said: “It was a wonderful day. The walkers gathered at Dean’s Yard in Westminster for picnics and reunions with friends and colleagues over the years.
“We set off from Westminster at 2.15pm and walked down the Embankment in the sunshine. Tourists looked bemused as they tried to cross the road on their way to another tourist site. People waved from the buses and bridges along the route.
“At St Paul’s the women of ‘94 queued down in the crypt to get a place to robe ready for our photograph with the Archbishop.
Out on the steps of St Paul’s there was a sea of white as we filled the steps, with white cassocks gleaming in the sun and many white-haired ordinands, some with walking sticks and a few in wheelchairs. There was a great feeling of celebration even of carnival!
“As we turned to process into the cathedral we were greeted by a wall of sound- not the organ playing but the congregation standing
and clapping us all as we made our way to our seats. It was very emotional and there were a few tears.
“This day celebrated the 20 years of women in the priesthood and it was incredibly affirming to those of us who have ministered through those years. The Church of England made a bold decision that is still not universally popular but as you scanned the hundreds of women it was a visual reminder of the contribution that women priests have made and are still making across the country.
“Desmond Tutu sent a message of congratulation that ended with Yippee! I think that summed up the atmosphere of the day!”