Memories from Jane Keiller

I thought I could remember very little of the ordination to the diaconate of the Ely deaconesses in April 1987, except for the sadness I felt when we were all told we could no longer wear our deaconess crosses. However, a few minutes spent hunting through old photograph albums turned up the photograph of the twelve of us with the redoubtable Joan Millar, who was such a champion of women's ministry and such an encouragement to us all, and Deaconess Ruth Wintle who led the retreat.

A further hunt led to the somewhat startling discovery of my journal entries during the retreat, I wrote: Ruth Wintle spoke really well on Standing Still and Moving Forward. She has helped us all to see that in many ways the deaconing is for the benefit of the Church, not us. It was certainly a service that was difficult to explain to anyone unfamiliar with the Church of England. We had all been ordained deaconess already, but it was of course a significant step and although eclipsed by the joys of 1994, I am enormously grateful for this opportunity to look back with thanksgiving and to remember how much has changed over these past thirty years.

(views and opinions in this article are those of the author)