Saturday, 27 April 2013

Equality in the church.

I have been reading on my kindle the new book by Maggie Dawn, "Like the wideness of the sea."
It is real anger tempered with scholarly debate and is I think a must for all church women....and men too because it puts the case for equality with vigor and honesty.
Many of us have lived through centuries and decades of shocking discrimination and have dealt with it in different ways. During my twenties I was a hippie , never a strident woman's libber, but the fact that my call into the church was disallowed because I was female meant that my life has been very different from the way it was intended to be.
My tragedy is that I came into the church too late. I was well past sixty when the process started...and of course continues....I make this point because many critics of the women lobbying for equality have labelled them ambitious, not content with their lot now they have been given some leeway. Apparently ambition should be only a male characteristic.
In my case I am very happy with everything I am doing and get along well with my mostly male colleagues. but I do wish sometimes that I had been able to start sooner!
Priests leaving this country to join Anglican communions elsewhere where woman have been accepted in the episcopate are growing in numbers....and it's tragic that they have been driven to it at this point when surely a solution might be found.
This weeks injunction to love one another needs to start with those in the body of the church where people are hurting. Healing is possible with love and openness and a real desire for communion.


  1. Although not in a church context your comment about ambition brought back the time when I was working for an airline in the engineering library. At the same time I was in the last few months of completing an Open University degree so was looking around for a new job as there was no future or promotion prospects, also much of the work was of a non professional nature so I was a little bored.

    After one unsuccessful job application the personnel officer thought I should know that on my personal file under negative aspects was the comment that I was ambitious! I was not surprised, in that engineering world some one had commented that it was unusual for a girl to be on D scales [of pay]. D scales were for professions, engineers, accountants etc and in this case chartered librarians.

    I did move to another job within the airline, it was like moving to another company as the whole culture was quite different. I should add that at that time BA was a nationalised industry with the older members of staff ex-RAF and services.

  2. It is odd that what is praised in a man is often despised in a woman...perhaps it's not womanly enough!