Ethos Café in Hillcrest welcomed a number of women clergy at the end of September for an informal time of table fellowship at the Ethos Café in Hamilton. It was hosted by Ceridwyn Parr on behalf of the AWSC who kindly covered the costs of drinks and encouraged us to enjoy both the food and the conversations which arose during our time together.
We renewed old friendships and introduced ourselves to those we were meeting for the first time which led on to further discussions regarding life and ministry. There was some significant energy generated during our time together and a definite desire to not only meet again, but to further explore some of the topics and issues raised.
These included the need
- to bring the female voice into strategic discussions
- for a gender balance of presenters at events
- the perceived assumption female clergy are more able to be non-stipendiary than male clergy
- for a regional/diocesan data base for female clergy to enable ongoing contact
- to explore how to research data relating to women’s ordained ministries with a focus on stipended/non-stipended roles and leadership.
There have been three initial outcomes of the gathering.
The first has been to create an email group with the hope it will grow as others become aware of the invitation to be in contact and meet again.
The second was a request to Archdeacons asking for names and email addresses so initial invitations can be sent.
The third has been an offer by two of the participants to explore the possibilities regarding data research as noted above.
Our thanks go to Ceridwyn , the Revd Val Riches, and AWSC for initiating this opportunity and for ongoing support of women’s ministries in all their diversity. Rev Sandy Neal TSSF