Share this page

Tell your friends all about St Martin’s

Connect with us

Café in the Crypt

The Café in the Crypt is the ideal spot for affordable dining in central London.

→ Read more

70th Anniversary of the Ordination of the First Anglican Woman Priest

News St Martin – Talking Points

Thursday 9 January 2014

70th Anniversary of the Ordination of the First Anglican Woman Priest

On Saturday 25 January 2014 at St Martin-in-the-Fields Church, Trafalgar Square, at 11.00am there will be a service to celebrate the ordination of the first Anglican woman priest 70 years ago. On 25 January 1944 the Reverend Dr Florence Li Tim-Oi was ordained in China by the Right Revd R.O. Hall, the then Bishop of Hong Kong. 

After the war Li Tim-Oi was put under pressure by church authorities and she resigned her licence as a priest, but did not give up her Holy Orders. She was put in charge of a parish near the Vietnamese border, where she started a maternity home to ensure that baby girls were not smothered at birth. For 30 years in Maoist China, Li Tim-Oi was unable to exercise her priesthood openly, or even express her Christian faith. Later, she was able to resume her ministry. Li Tim-Oi eventually moved to Toronto to join family members, where she lived until her death in 1992.

The Li Tim-Oi Foundation was set up in 1994 to enable women in the two-thirds world to be trained for Christian work in their own countries. Since then the Foundation has given more than £750,000 in grants to over 350 women in countries including Brazil, Fiji, Kenya, Pakistan, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.

One of the first alumnae of the Foundation, the Revd Canon Dr Edidah-Mary Mujinya, now President of Mothers’ Union in Uganda, will preach at the service and the Revd Frances Shoesmith, a granddaughter of Bishop Hall, will preside. The service is open to all.


For further information, please contact:

Revd Katherine Hedderly, Associate Vicar St Martin-in-the-Fields: 020 7766 1102

Canon Christopher Hall, Honourary Secretary of the Florence Li Tim Oi Association: 01869 338225

Christina Rees, Vice-Chair of the Florence Li tim Oi Association: 01763 848822

You can visit the Florence Li Tim Oi Association website at: