SCP - Here we are
Earlier this year most dioceses held a celebration to mark 25 years since the first ordinations of women as priests. In Southwark this was accompanied by an amazing, and very moving, exhibition of photographs chronicling the priestly ministry of a number of women. The project was called ‘Here am I’ a reminder of the response, that in one way or another, each of us made when we heard God’s call to ordained ministry.
So, in this year of celebration, it was wonderful to be able to welcome members of the Society of Catholic Priests to Southwark Cathedral for our own silver jubilee celebrations. The Diocese of Southwark is the soil out of which SCP grew – so it was a homecoming in many ways.
Whether you have been a member of the Society for many years or just for a few, whatever your gender or ability or sexuality or ethnicity, I hope that membership of SCP is what it has been for me, an enriching, supportive, inspiring experience. It was a privilege for me to be able to play my part in our Society as Rector General for 8 years, to see the Society established in Australia and North America, and most importantly, to see women finally admitted to all three orders of ordained ministry.
Our celebration in this 25th year brought all of this together, our history, our present and our hope for the future. Seeing the nave full of priests, standing shoulder to shoulder, confident in our priesthood, confident in the church, confident in Christ was a further inspiration. Thank you to everyone who has played and continues to play a part in the story of SCP. May we continue to say to God, here am I, and may our Society say to the wider church, here we are.