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Last Updated: Tuesday, 1 February, 2005, 17:21 GMT
Bishop supports sex-change priest
A female priest who underwent a sex-change operation almost 20 years ago has been given public support by the Bishop of Hereford.

Anthony Priddis revealed Sarah Jones's past to parishioners at a meeting in Ross-on-Wye on Monday evening.

Miss Jones, 43, an assistant curate in the Ross Team Ministry, was one of the first priests to be ordained by Bishop Priddis after his appointment in 2004.

The diocese said it went public after a national newspaper had made inquiries.

She has received nothing but support from those who have been told
Anni Holden, Diocese of Hereford

Bishop Priddis said Miss Jones had been open about her past from the time she started in the ministry and had not concealed her medical history.

Miss Jones trained for the ministry at Wescott House, Cambridge, after studying at the University of Northumbria for an MSc in occupational psychology.

Before that she had read experimental psychology at Oxford University after gaining her GCSEs and A-Levels at the age of 28.

Anni Holden, spokeswoman for the Diocese of Hereford, said: "Sarah has become a much-loved curate in the short time she has been part of the Ross Team."

Miss Jones was accepted for ordination several years ago.

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