The Rev. Virginia Briant

Thank you to Bishop Somerville for his courage, dedication and persistence. His description of the Ordination Service was quite accurate.

The man who objected was the only signer of his petition. His picture appeared on the front page of one of our newspapers instead of Elspeth's and mine.

One of the Vancouver Province's news reporters gave me a very bad time. He was interested in me as long as the Church would not ordain me. He lost interest when the Ordination actually happened, and he didn't even attend the service.

However the night of the Ordination he called me at 1 am to ask about the priest who had objected. The media was in a terrible frenzy over the ordination.

One reporter asked me: "How did you know it was the will of God for you to be a priest?" My answer: "How else could it have happened?"

The day after the service, I was seeing Archbishop Ted Scott off at the Vancouver airport. A reporter came up and began asking us questions - some seemed quite hostile.

I remember the Archbishop telling her: "I don't like your questions. It sounds like we've done something wrong." I always felt that God created us male and female so our services should include both male and female clergy.

It has been a wonderful 30 years of ministry, and gradually I received a great deal of support, especially from other clergy and bishops.

What a joy it has been for me to relate to so many families concerning baptisms, weddings and even funerals. I consider the Ordination of women God's great gift to clergymen - and to women.

I was privileged to serve eight years in Christ Church Cathedral, then 16 years in my own Parish of St. Richards on the North Shore. My career ended with a terrible car accident in 1988.

My husband, Bob, and I moved to Penticton where I have become involved with our Lord's Healing in the Order of St. Luke. Every day we pray for many people and see many helped by our prayers.

In the past four years I have experienced the deaths of Bob, Michael, my son, and my sister. I know I would never have survived without the prayers for me by many people.

I have much to thank God for, and I also thank Him for my good health at 80 years of age. I pray that I will be able to serve Him many more years.