In May, 1995 our incumbent Nancy Beale was made a deacon in the Diocese of Huron. Under a year later Nancy was made priest, and in May, 2020 became The Rev’d Canon Nancy Beale. Making Canon was a surprise to Nancy, but you will see from this notice on her accomplishments it was well deserved! Below is an article written by Nancy about celebrating of 45 years of women as priests in the Anglican Church of Canada – enjoy!
On November 30 1976, history was made as 6 women knelt in 4 different cathedrals across Canada and were ordained to the priesthood – our first 6 women to be ordained Anglican priests in Canada. Every 5 years since 2006 I have been honoured to gather with a number of Anglican Women Priests from across Canada to celebrate the anniversary of Ordination of Women to the Priesthood in Canada. These gatherings are most frequently a 4 day event with much time for conversation, great worship, and seminars.
There has been a great deal of story telling – both formally and informally, about the journey of women in the priesthood…. and over the years we have been blessed with hearing the stories of strength, courage and struggle from some of the women who were among those first ordained here in Canada. These have been great gatherings of fellowship and support for one another – with much laughter, and some tears. In 2006 we met in Sorrento Centre, British Columbia, 2011 we were in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. 2016 we gathered in Stratford Ontario to celebrate the 40th anniversary. This year, the original plan was to gather in Saskatchewan and celebrate the 45th. Instead, we will be gathering online on November 30th to worship and pray together with Archbishop Linda Nichols. For more information on the celebration please click here.
Here in the Diocese of Ontario, the first group of women were ordained to the diaconate in 1984, and later priested. Our own Karen Dukes was 1 of the 7 women that were ordained in 1984, along with other names that may be familiar to you, like Thora Rowe, Jeannine Speers and Margaret Rogers.
I am so deeply grateful for the women who have gone before me and answered God’s call to serve as priests in the Anglican Church of Canada, and am looking forward to both the November 30th event, and God willing, celebrating the 50th anniversary in person in 2026!