‘My life as a Minister’

Thursday, 23 November 2017

‘My life as a Minister’ thumbnailRev. Mrs. Frances Bach. SPB47-21

AT THE November Main Meeting of the Ballymoney U3A, Reverend Frances Bach gave a talk entitled "Humorous Tales from my Life as a Minister".
When she told people in 1991 that she was going to Dublin to train for a Church of Ireland minister, nearly everyone was very polite but negative about women's ordination.
An exception was her 14 year old daughter Helen who said vehemently: "Mummy, there will be three clergy parents in our class at school and two of them will be mine!"
Dublin was the only place that C of I students could train so you got all sorts of political and theological opinions.
Very early in the 1st term, there was a party at which a huge Union Jack was unfurled followed by singing of the Sash, then someone rushed away and came back with a huge tricolour and the Soldier's Song was sung.
Some Northerners were amazed that Protestants could be loyal to the Republic. There were theological differences, especially about women, but the college staff were pro women clergy.
Frances was ordained in 1994 and went to Ballyclare and Ballynure.
She was woman number 11 in the Church of Ireland so still a rarity, but the parishioners took to her very well.
The first funeral consisted of a sea of men in black so something of a test. Later one woman said; "I wouldn't want to be buried by a woman".
Frances thought but did not like to say, "Well, you wouldn't be there to know, would you?"
*Read the full story in this week's Chronicle


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