On behalf of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, its
bishops, clergy and people, I send our condolences and prayers to the family of
the Revd Canon Nancy Charton, who died in Graaff Reinet yesterday at the age of
Nancy was the first woman ordained as an Anglican priest in
South Africa. She was one of three women ordained in September 1992 by the late
Bishop David Russell.
On the day of the Ordination Service, Bishop Russell told
those to be ordained:
'Yours has been a faithful, loyal
waiting -- especially those who have been deacons for some time -- which you
have borne in pain. We in this diocese have for some time been ready and have
waited in obedience and unity for the Province to make its corporate
decision... The way is opened, and we move in obedience and unity... It has
been a creative pain that has deepened you and our church.'
I remember Nancy fondly from when I served in St
Mary’s Cathedral, Johannesburg. She was a pioneering woman, whose whole life was committed to
serving God through his people.
The author of Matthew's Gospel reminds us “Then Jesus said to
his disciples, 'The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few, therefore
pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his
At the 20th anniversary celebrations of the
ordination of women to the Priesthood, Nancy was the preacher. Her sermon
outlined the long road she had travelled to fulfil her vocation to the
priesthood, and gave thanks to God for the many people who had encouraged and
Posted By Anglican Media Office, Bishopscourt to Archbishop
Thabo Makgoba on 11/11/2015 05:10:00 p.m.