It is a fourteenth century table tomb on which lie the effigies of Richard Fitzalan Earl of Arundel, and his second wife Eleanor. One of the most charming features is the way that they are both holding hands, Richard’s hand having been removed from the gauntlet still held in his left hand.
Chichester diocese sometimes comes in for criticism over it’s perceived attitude to ordained women’s ministry. So it is with a wry smile that today we prayed for the Team Vicar, and two NSM priests on the Team staff – all three women. And we prayed for the parish Readers. Also all three women. So during the vacancy, the parish is being staffed solely by women.
It struck me that if the vacancy for a Team Rector was also filled by a woman, Chichester could be in a probably unique situation in the Church of England of having a women-only staffed parish. Now that might change some perceptions!