Seventy years ago Florence Li Tim-Oi was the first woman to be ordained a priest in the Anglican Communion.
On 25 January 1944 history was made when the Rev Florence Li Tim-Oi was made a ‘Priest in the Church of God’.
The Ordination in the Anglican Diocese of Hong Kong and South China took place in the Free China village of Shui Hing during the Sino-Japanese War. It was conducted by Bishop R O Hall in order that Anglican Christians in Tim-Oi’s parish of Macao, the Portuguese island colony, could receive the sacrament of Holy Communion properly authorised.
It was not until 1971 that the Anglican Communion agreed that further women might be ordained priest, and not until 1994 that women were priested in the Church of England. In the same year the ‘Li Tim-Oi Foundation’ was launched to empower women in the Two-Thirds World for Christian mission and ministry.
Gracious God, we thank you for calling Florence Li Tim-Oi, much beloved daughter, to be the first woman to exercise the office of a priest in our Communion: By the grace of your Spirit inspire us to follow her example, serving your people with patience and happiness all our days, and witnessing in every circumstance to our Savior Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the same Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.