New York Episcopal Canon Mary Simpson speaks from the pulpit of Westminster Abbey in London, becoming the first ordained woman to preach there in the 913 years of the Abbey's existence. Mary Simpson was already a pioneer because in 1977 she became the first American Episcopal nun to be ordained a priest.
Technically the Church of England has no rules against women as priests and there are women priests in several Anglican Communion churches (United States, Canada, New Zealand). The views of the clergy in the Church of England are, however, much more conservative, and none have been accepted thus far in England.
During her sermon, Mary Simpson addresses this problem directly by saying that the Church of England is treating women like second-class citizens:
"Christian creativity for the present age must not depend on male leaders. Woman's contribution — from women properly trained and authorized — is essential."
In response to those who say that ordaining women as priests would undermine efforts to unify the Church of England with the Roman Catholic Church, Mary Simpson says:
"It depends on whether you're going to lose the Roman Catholic Church or whether you're going to lose half the human race."