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Female priest ordained in Swanscombe church

PUBLISHED: 11:13 14 September 2011 | UPDATED: 11:27 14 September 2011

Rev Jean Budgen and Bishop of Rochester

Rev Jean Budgen and Bishop of Rochester

Archant

The first ordination of a priest at St Peter and St Paul’s Church in Swanscombe- who is a female - took place on Saturday.

Reverend Jean Budgen was ordained at a ceremony by the Bishop of Rochester James Langstaff.

About 150 guest attended the Eucharist service which concluded with the celebration of the holy communion.

Anne Duke, church warden, said: “It was a very mystical and spiritual occasion of great intensity. I feel that St Peters and St Paul’s church has been blessed by this occasion.”

Rev Jean Budgen is a non-stipendiary minister who has been supporting Swanscombe parish during their inter-regnum - a period without a minister - since Rev David Scott stepped down last September. The parish is in the process of making an appointment.

It is not known exactly when the church was founded but historical records indicate the first church stones were laid in the period of Edward the Confessor between 1042 and 1066. Like many churches, it was built on a pagan site.

Ordinations of priests normally take place in cathedrals and this is the first recorded one taking place at the church.

Mrs Duke added: “As far as we are all aware there’s no record of a previous inordination.”

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