* 144th Session of Synod
Breaking hundreds of years of tradition, the Anglican Diocese in a historical session has approved the ordination of women to the priesthood.
This was a unanimous decision taken during the 144th Synod session of the regional Anglican Diocese, which includes Suriname and French Guyana. The highest decision-making forum of the Anglican Church in Guyana got underway with a Grand Mass at St George’s Cathedral on Sunday.
However, the historical moment was made on Monday when the members unanimously voted to allow the ordination of women in the Diocese of Guyana. This means that the door is now open for women to be trained for the priesthood in Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana.
Last year, Bolivia became the first Diocese in the Anglican Province of South America (formerly known as the Southern Cone) to ordain women as priests. Also in 2015, the Reverend Susana Lopez Lerena, the Reverend Cynthia Myers Dickin, and the Reverend Audrey Taylor Gonzalez became the first women Anglican priests ordained in the Diocese of Uruguay.
The ordination of women in the Anglican Communion has become increasingly common in certain provinces since the 1970s.
However, there are some provinces and certain Dioceses that continue to ordain only men.
The first woman ordained to the priesthood in the Anglican Communion was Florence Li Tim-Oi, who was ordained in 1944 by Ronald Hall, Bishop of Victoria, Hong Kong, in response to the crisis among Anglican Christians in China caused by the Japanese invasion. To avoid controversy, she resigned her licence after the end of the war but kept her priestly orders.
The service on Sunday was attended by Marin Porter, Diocesan President, Brotherhood of St Andrew; Joan James, Diocesan President, Mother’s Union; Henrietta Edwards, the Clergy of Diocese among others.
This is the first Synod since the consecration of the Right Reverend Charles Davidson as the eighth Diocesan Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Guyana.