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

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

Frances says 'I feel immensely privileged and honoured to beinvited. John and Charles Wesley remained Anglican prieststhroughout their lives, and the lessons for the occasion includeRomans 8, one of John Wesley's favourite texts. So I have a sensethat I have been given some licence to start with Wesley, and seeif some of his key themes have any wisdom for the Anglican Synodand the Methodist Conference now.'

Until her recent retirement, Dr. Young was Edward Cadbury Professorof Theology of the University of Birmingham, a post she had heldsince 1986. She started teaching at the University in 1971. She wasordained a Methodist minister in 1984, and was awarded an OBE forservices to theology in 1998.

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