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First women priest ordained in the Middle East: The Church of England Newspaper, June 10, 2011 p 7. June 13, 2011

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Episcopal Church in Jerusalem & the Middle East, Women Priests.

The Rev. Catherine Dawkins, Bishop Michael Lewis, and the Rev. Nigel Dawkins at the June 5 ordination of Mrs. Dawkins to the priesthood at St. Christopher's Cathedral in Bahrain

First published in The Church of England Newspaper.

The first woman priest of the Episcopal Church in Jerusalem and the Middle East was ordained this week at St Christopher’s Cathedral in Bahrain.

On June 5, the Bishop of Cyprus and the Gulf, the Rt. Rev. Michael Lewis ordained the Rev. Catherine Mary Dawkins to the priesthood.  On January 15, 2010 Mrs. Dawkins was ordained a deacon by Bishop Lewis and she served her cure as deacon and assistant chaplain at Christ Church, Aden, with her husband, the Rev. Nigel Dawkins—chaplain at Aden.

At a meeting of the province’s house of bishops late last year, the bishops agreed to allow each diocese the local option of ordaining women priests.  Jerusalem, Iran and Egypt do not permit women priests, while Cyprus and the Gulf had given permission to officiate to women priests ordained outside of the diocese.

Mrs. Dawkins met her husband while she was training for the ministry in England, and came out to Aden two years ago after her marriage.  Last month the Dawkins accepted new posts in Dubai: the Rev Nigel will serve as senior chaplain at the Mission to Seafarers, while the Rev. Catherine will take up the post of chaplain at Christ Church in Jebel Ali.

The Dean of St. Christopher’s Cathedral, the Very Rev. Christopher Butt told the Gulf Daily News Mrs. Dawkins’ ordination held a special significance for the church in Bahrain.

“We are privileged to host this big occasion, not because it is just a Bahraini event but it holds significance for the whole of the region and this diocese, and it is a joy to be involved in this process,” Dean Butt said.

“It is a sign of recognition in the wider church that women have a final role in the ministry of the church and not a secondary. It is also recognition of the gifts and special insights that women bring into the ministry in a powerful way,” the dean said.

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