The changing face of Hunter's Anglican priesthood

JOY: Kate Mcneil, 28, yesterday became Newcastle's youngest Anglican priest in a ceremony in Christ Church Cathedral.- Picture by Peter Stoop
JOY: Kate Mcneil, 28, yesterday became Newcastle's youngest Anglican priest in a ceremony in Christ Church Cathedral.- Picture by Peter Stoop

A ROLE long dominated by men received more of the feminine touch last night.

Two women were welcomed into the Newcastle Anglican Diocese's priesthood in an ordination ceremony at Newcastle's Christ Church Cathedral.

It was a poignant occasion for Annette Bourquin, who has lived through a time where women weren't associated with head roles within the church.

"When I finished school a woman did not even consider becoming a priest. We couldn't even study the courses needed to study theology," said Mrs Bourquin, who will serve at Nelson Bay parish.

Kate Mcneil from the Woy Woy parish brings youth to the Newcastle priesthood.

The 28-year-old is the youngest priest in the diocese, and plans to use her youth to oust outdated views of the church.

"As a priest I will of course do what other priests have always done," she said.

"But there are challenges of each generation and part of my role will be helping my generation see what the church has to offer . . . to help people in the wider community look beyond outdated ideas about God and the church."