Thinking Anglicans

Senior women clergy

Last week the House of Bishops decided to give eight senior women clergy the right to attend their meetings. They stated that the “eight members would be elected regionally from within bishops’ senior staff teams (that include deans, archdeacons and others)”.

This article is an attempt to compile a list of the eligible women.

1) At present there are four women deans.

Deans

  Dean of
Catherine Ogle Birmingham
June Osborne Salisbury
Frances Ward St Edmundsbury
Vivienne Faull York

2) This list of women archdeacons is extracted from Wikepedia. I know of some acting archdeacons omitted from the Wikipedia list, but they are all men. It is possible that some women are also omitted.

Archdeacons

  Archdeacon of Diocese
Nicola Sullivan Wells Bath & Wells
Christine Froude Malmesbury Bristol
Sheila Watson Canterbury Canterbury
Penny Driver Westmorland and Furness Carlisle
Annette Cooper Colchester Chelmsford
Christine Wilson Chesterfield Derby
Jackie Searle Gloucester Gloucester
Jane Sinclair Stow and Lindsey Lincoln
Rachel Treweek Hackney London
Cherry Vann Rochdale Manchester
Jan McFarlane Norwich Norwich
Karen Gorham Buckingham Oxford
Christine Allsopp Northampton Peterborough
Joanne Grenfell Portsdown (designate) Portsmouth
Jane Hedges Westminster Royal Peculiar
Ruth Worsley Wilts Salisbury
Jane Steen Southwark (designate) Southwark
Dianna Gwilliams Southwark (acting) Southwark
Audrey Elkington Bodmin Truro
Anne Dawtry Halifax Wakefield
Sarah Bullock York (designate) York
Suzanne Sheriff York (temporary) York

3) It is not clear to me precisely who the “others” will be. Diocesan websites do not usually give a list of the members of the bishop’s senior staff, and the Church of England Year Book never does.

It might be thought that Diocesan Advisors in Women’s Ministry (DAWMs) (listed here) would all be members of the bishops’ senior staff, but I know that this is the case in only some dioceses.

4) Readers are invited to submit (via a comment) the names of any women clergy (other than deans and archdeacons) who are members of their bishop’s senior staff.

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Janet HendersonPeter OwenFather Ron SmithJonathan MacGillivrayRobert Ellis Recent comment authors
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Susannah
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Susannah

What about clerics in academia? Are there specific women whose theological insights and writings could be said to qualify them for this kind of participation and input?

And what about the leaders of some of the well-established religious houses?

Richard Gillin
Guest

Christine Hardman is still Archdeacon of Lewisham and Greenwich (Southwark), isn’t she?

Sam Denyer
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Sam Denyer

Why is ‘women’ an honorary adjective when it comes to clergy? What is wrong with ‘female’? It’s not natural English to talk of ‘men deans/archdeacons/bishops’ but ‘male’.

Is it only me that feels that having peculiar grammatical provision resonates with the attitude that whole idea of women being ordained is a peculiar aberration?

In ten years time when this whole matter is settled (please God), surely no-one would naturally refer to ‘male and women bishops’, but ‘male and female’. So why not get with the program now and be the change we want to see?!

Peter Owen
Guest

Christine Hardman retired as Archdeacon of Lewisham and Greenwich on Friday 30 November 2012.

http://southwark.anglican.org/news/pr/Adn-Lewisham&Greenwich

Barbara Moss
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Barbara Moss

What about Ulla Monberg, Director of Training in the Diocese in Europe?

Dan BD
Guest

I’ll have you know those (wikipedia) lists are fastidiously kept up to date, Peter! If an acting or designate or what-have-you does not appear, it is almost certainly because their appointment was not in the Church Times. Else it somehow escaped the lists’ editors’ notice…

On the other matter, Rose Hudson-Wilkin is an oft-mentioned “other”.

Richard
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Richard

Female religious superiors would, indeed, be an obvious source of other candidates.

Father David
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Father David

Aren’t female Canons Residentiary of our great cathedrals eligible?

Flora Alexander
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Flora Alexander

Sam, there isn’t anything sinister about this use of ‘women’; it is just a quirk of English usage. We have been speaking and writing of women doctors, and women researchers, for many decades, so it isn’t specific to women in the church. Language is funny that way.

Cuthbert
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Cuthbert

Perhaps The Revd Rebecca Swyer who is from the Chichester Diocese and The Revd Ann Turner who is DDO in Bradford, I believe. Both are permanent deacons, and both might offer a wider opinion than others on the list.

John S
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John S

Hazel Whitehead (The Reverend Canon Doctor…), Director of Discipleship, Vocation and Ministry, Guildford Diocese. Not sure what the formal definition of “senior staff” is but I would imagine she would be part of it.

Cynthia
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Cynthia

It could be worse, Sam. It could be men and womyn. 😉
Not that I’m advocating for it!!!

Miranda
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Miranda

So only 2 dioceses have 2 women on senior staff, having both a female Dean and a female Archdeacon. None have two female archdeacons.
the other thing that strikes me is that this small an electorate. I can understand these being the obvious women to be in the HoB, so these are the eligible candidates (and very eligible indeed), but I do feel the electorate should be wider, eg all licensed female clergy.
Durham, by the way, has a Woman Advisor in Ministry – Jen Bradshaw – who is on Bishops Staff.

JCF
Guest
JCF

I have to agree w/ Sam here. I think the phrases “women doctors” and “women researchers” underscore his point: that males in these positions—include the priesthood—are normative, and “a woman _______” is something to stop and stare at. Male and female (and in the case of Yours Truly, genderqueer ;-/), Please.

Father David
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Father David

As the eight are going to have the privilege of sitting in the House of Bishops (quite possibly the first woman bishop will be numbered among the chosen) shouldn’t the CNC decide who the eight should be and wouldn’t it be more Biblical to have twelve rather than eight?

David Walker
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David Walker

It is hard to define, in a way that means the same across 44 dioceses, exactly who the “others” apart from archdeacons and deans should be. But the point is that they are people who share closely with the bishop in the oversight of the diocese. It’s emphatically not about a wide election among clergy to find representatives of themselves (we have General Synod for that). Nor is it about those who hold senior office in the church (abbesses, canons, theologians) who are not part of the bishop’s immediate oversight team. Nor is it about including a wide range of… Read more »

Simon Sarmiento
Guest

Janet Henderson is no longer an archdeacon, she has moved to become a Cathedral Dean in the Church in Wales.

http://www.riponleeds.anglican.org/news-523.html

Jane Charman
Guest
Jane Charman

Miranda, there are 4 women on our Bps Staff, the Dean, the Archdeacon of Wilts and me as Director of Ministry, plus the Diocesan Secretary who is a lay woman. That’s out of a membership of 11. We also have a female canon residentiary, a female DDO, a female head of lay learning and a DAWM. Sounds like Salisbury may be ahead of the curve. If HoB can do this then so can Bps Staffs around the country. Don’t wait for women to become Bps, Deans and Archdeacons, attend to your gender imbalances now and you will quickly notice a… Read more »

Peter Capon
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Peter Capon

Manchester has two. Archdeacon Cherry Vann and Canon Sarah Bullock, Bishop’s Advisor for Women’s Ministry and Chair of the Discipleship and Ministry Training Committee.

Robert Ellis
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Robert Ellis

This is all getting quite exciting. Progress at last.

Jonathan MacGillivray
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Jonathan MacGillivray

The Revd Professor Alison Milbank (Hon priest vicar at Southwell Minster) is not a “senior” female cleric in the sense many might understand the word, but she’d certainly be a strong intelligent, inclusive, catholic voice well able to engage profoundly and theologically in HoB debates.

Father Ron Smith
Guest

I guess that the Church of England is suddenly beginning to assess the value and strength of the ministry of Women, without whom it could hardly function. This can only be a good wake-up call.

Peter Owen
Guest

I have updated the list of women archdeacons. As well as removing Janet Henderson, who as noted above has moved to the Church in Wales, I have added Sarah Bullock, who is to become Archdeacon of York.

Janet Henderson
Guest
Janet Henderson

Ripon and Leeds senior staff was half and half men and women until I moved to Wales earlier this month – female archdeacon, diocesan secretary, registrar and Dean of Women’s Ministry.