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Wednesday, February 02, 2005

LADY VICAR USED TO BE A MAN

Evening News
A WOMAN priest has revealed she was ordained nearly 20 years after she underwent a sex-change operation.
Sarah Jones, aged 43, has been a curate for the past six months - but her parishioners did not know until Monday that she led a former life as a man.
Her parishioners applauded the revelation and she has also received full support from the Bishop of Hereford, the Rt Rev Anthony Priddis.
Miss Jones was among the first priests ordained by the bishop following his appointment last year.
Dr Priddis said Miss Jones had gone through "a painful process of becoming the woman she is".
"Sarah was open with us from the word go and has not sought to hide her medical history," he said.
"Everyone whom we felt needed to know, knew about her, and we are quite sure that no one has done anything wrong.
"Sarah has become a much-loved curate in the short time she has been part of the team."
Miss Jones' parishioners were told about her former life at an emergency meeting in the Ross-on-Wye parish church where she is assistant curate.
The Oxford University graduate left the meeting after the announcement so everyone could express their views, and she received "nothing but support".

Photograph

Anni Holden, director of communications for the Diocese of Hereford, said the decision was made to reveal Miss Jones' story after a national newspaper told them they wanted to publish a photograph of her as a man.
"We felt that churchwardens and others in the 14 parishes in Ross Team Ministry should be told about Sarah's background before they read it in the newspaper," she said.
"Sarah has received nothing but support from those who have been told".
"She was greeted with a round of applause when she went back into the church hall.
"We are sure that all parishioners will feel the same way."

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