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History is made as church welcomes first female Reverend

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RODDEN Church welcomed its first Church of England female priest to lead Holy Communion this month, a first since the 13th century.

Rev Clarissa Shaw-Notice, curate at Holy Trinity Church in Frome, accepted the invitation to lead the celebration of Holy Communion at All Saints. 

Alan Sandall said, “Rodden Church, Frome, has an history traced back to the 13th Century. This month, it added a new page when the Rev Clarissa Shaw-Notice accepted an invitation to lead the Celebration of Holy Communion. Undoubtedly the first Church of England woman priest to do so at All Saints. 

“Thirty-nine men and women gave her a warm, effusive, welcome – more than double the size of congregation she was expecting on a dark winter’s evening, at a church in the middle of a farm!

“The Rev Clarissa, as she is known, is curate at Holy Trinity Church, in Frome, having trained with the vicar and area dean, the Rev Graham Owen. She is soon to leave to become vicar of her own church or churches.

“When she came to visit All Saints, in preparation, and saw and felt its special feel, she said its country setting reminded her of her native Jamaica, where she grew up as a child.

“Clarissa handled the traditional 1662 style of service well, with her sermon brief, pertinent and precise – no words wasted. Always appreciated at Rodden.

“The task of the evening for the wardens was persuading the congregation it was time to go home as they stayed to chat with their history-making woman priest, who, by the way, did not know of that importance until told afterwards!”

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