THE VENERABLE VAL GRAYDON
The Ven. Val Graydon, one of the first group of women to be ordained as priest in the Anglican Church of Australia, passed peacefully into glory on 4 July 2023.
Val was one of the pioneers. She was born in the United Kingdom in 1947 but moved to Australia with her family in 1965. After working in business administration, marketing and promotional management, she was ordained to the Diaconate in Brisbane in 1990 and was priested in 1992. From 1992-96 she served as Priest in Charge at the Church of the Resurrection, Alexandra Hills (Brisbane Diocese).
As a priest, her appointments took her to places as far-flung as Tasmania (where she was General Secretary for the Tasmanian Council of Churches 2002-04), Goondiwindi, Warwick, Chinchilla and Toowoomba. After the 2006 death of her husband, Jack, she completed post-graduate study on the leadership of women in early Christianity. Val was Archdeacon of The West from 2008-2012 and in retirement served in the parishes of Warwick and Freshwater.
Val was a vigorous campaigner on behalf of women’s ministry and women in leadership. She is remembered as a tender and generous minister, with a backbone of steel. She was a wonderful mentor, and her legacy continues in the generations of women who have followed her lead.
Val served as national president of MOW for eleven years from 1997 and was pressed back into service in 2019 as Vice-President, until her untimely death. She remained active and engaged to the end, celebrating the 30th anniversary of her ordination as priest in December 2022, along with The Rev’d Kaye Pitman (https://malenyanglican.com.au/event/kaye-and-vals-30th-anniversary-of-ordination-celebration/), participating in planning for MOW’s 2024 conference in Brisbane, and exploring the possibilities of PhD study.
Val’s wise counsel and warm nurturing presence are much missed by the many members and friends of MOW who have had the great pleasure of working with her over these many years. As The Venerable Dr Colleen O’Reilly AM observed, Val “made a great contribution to MOW and the cause of women’s ministry. The words above Bede’s tomb come to mind: ‘Christ is the morning star who when the night of this world is past brings to his saints the promise of the light of life and opens everlasting day’”. May it be so for The Ven. Christine Valerie (Val) Graydon, Archdeacon Emerita, trail-blazer and loving spirit.