09 November 2005

Revd Frances Young to preach at opening service of the General Synod

The Revd Professor Frances M Young will preach at the opening service of the Eighth General Synod Church of England on 15 November, the first Methodist and the first woman to preach at the five-yearly inauguration ceremony. She will deliver her sermon at the Eucharist service at which the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, will preside.

Frances says 'I feel immensely privileged and honoured to be invited. John and Charles Wesley remained Anglican priests throughout their lives, and the lessons for the occasion include Romans 8, one of John Wesley's favourite texts. So I have a sense that I have been given some licence to start with Wesley, and see if some of his key themes have any wisdom for the Anglican Synod and the Methodist Conference now.'

Until her recent retirement, Dr. Young was Edward Cadbury Professor of Theology of the University of Birmingham, a post she had held since 1986. She started teaching at the University in 1971. She was ordained a Methodist minister in 1984, and was awarded an OBE for services to theology in 1998.

Dr. Young will also participate in a seminar on episcopacy during the General Synod that is intended to enable Synod members to reflect further on some of the wider theological issues relevant to the debate on women bishops.

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