Induction of Female Aides Marks New Turn for Church

Fourteen female chalicwe assistants have been inducted in the Anglican Accra Diocese, marking a turning point for the Anglican Church here.

The chalice assistants were inducted on April 12 at a short ceremony in Trinity College in Accra.

This is the first time women have been allowed to take up such high-level responsibilities in the Eucharist service of the Anglican Church in Ghana.

A member of the congregation at the induction commented: "This marks the beginning of a new era in the Anglican Church, where women are now beginning to serve in areas that were previously held by men."

As a chalice assistant, one's major responsibility is to help in administering the Holy Communion. The position has been a preserve for men.

"This is a unique occasion because women can now don cassocks and go to the Altar of God together with their male colleagues, a rare occurrence in the Anglican Tradition," said Alex Allotey, an Anglican youth leader in Accra.

He explained: "Synod, under the Anglican Diocese of Accra, has agreed that before women are allowed into priesthood, they should be first allowed on the Altar of God as altar girls, then serve as chalice assistants as a prelude in their preparation into priesthood." Allotey was responding to an email interview.

Among those present to witness the induction were Dean of the Cathedral, the Very Rev. J.A Ocquaye, and Rev Canon Dan S.M Torto, Assistant Diocesan/Synod Secretary.