The Reverend Lena Prince, 1923 - 2012
It is with great sadness that Lena Prince passed away on 5th April. It was Maundy Thursday, the day of the Lord's last supper. It's poignant as Lena campaigned for many years for women to be given the opportunity to be ordained priest and preside over the Eucharist. Thank God, in her lifetime it happened and she was to fulfill her dream.
Lena had been in full time ministry for more than forty years. As a parish worker, she served in the parish of Kirkby when the new Team Ministry was being formed, then in the parish of St John, Knotty Ash. Lena was ordained Deaconess in 1966 and spent more than twenty years of distinguished ministry in the parish of St Mary the Virgin, West Derby.
When she retired in 1986, she became honorary curate of St Anne's. She was ordained deacon in 1987, and was the first woman to be ordained priest in Liverpool Cathedral in May, 1994.
Her funeral was in St Anne's on 19th April and was attended by clergy and friends from all over the diocese. Father Myles gave a truly memorable tribute ( full text ) and it was quite fitting that Emma presided over the Requiem Eucharist for Lena. The choir sang 'And I saw a new heaven' by Edgar Bainton and we're very grateful to the musicians from St Mary's and the cathedral who came to sing with us.
Lena was a lifelong fan of Liverpool football club and so it was fitting that as she left St. Anne's for the last time 'You'll never walk alone' was played. The words reflect Lena's endless campaigning for the ordination of women - though your dreams be tossed and blown, walk on with hope in your heart, and you'll never walk alone. God bless you Lena.
LenaThis sad day came, as sad days will
And we must bid you our fond goodbye
And for all of the years you stood at our side
We wish they could be counted twice.
We wish they could be counted twice
That we might go before you pass
And light a flame along that path
Where you must walk, but never alone.
With a look so fragile in your frame
Yet strength and courage you truly proved
And Thomas's bane fell on many a head
Whose belief in vocation was gender cast.
Now your gentle spirit and tender heart
Reside forever with the golden kin
Where all in glory, your passed loved are met
In that Kingdom of the blest.
by Edward Taylor
in loving memory of Lena Prince