The outgoing Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, who is due to retire next year, has ordained his wife in the first service of its kind in Britain.
Mrs Margaret Sentamu was ordained alongside 11 others recently in a ceremony which marks the first time an archbishop has ordained his wife.
According to the Telegraph, Mrs Sentamu said her path to ordination had been a 20-year journey.
“It’s about connecting the church and society and executing a public role in my own right, not just through the person I’m married to,” she said.
“With my husband retiring next summer, it felt right to explore a calling”.
“I know it’s not going to be all plain sailing – Jesus said life wasn’t going to be easy – but I know what I’m stepping into”.
The new deacons will serve in the Diocese of York, a grouping of 607 churches, and will assist in leading worship as well as working in the local community. They will also serve as assistant curates in one of the 470 parishes in the diocese.
The Sentamus’ roots are in Uganda, although they have lived and ministered in the UK for most of their adult lives.
Dr Sentamu, who was born in Kampala, is the most senior black and minority ethnic cleric in the church.
Dr Sentamu has been Archbishop of York and a member of the House of Lords for 14 years. His departure from the number two position in the Church of England next year will leave a vacancy some have hoped would one day be filled by a woman.
When he announced his retirement last year, Dr Sentamu said, “I am deeply grateful to Her Majesty the Queen for graciously allowing me to continue as archbishop of York until June 2020 to enable me to complete the work to which I have been called.”