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Text Messages: The Ministry of Women and Romans 16

Steven Croft is Warden of Cranmer Hall, St. John’s College Durham. He was previously Vicar of Ovenden in Halifax and is the author of a number of books on ministry and church life and a co-author of Emmaus: the Way of Faith.

Steve Croft’s survey of Romans 16 finds convincing evidence for the ministry of women in the early church and provides a model for the commendation of women’s ministry in the contemporary context.

Woman Priests – Towards a More Fully Human Church

The Revd Emma Percy is Vicar of Holy Trinity, Millhouses in the Diocese of Sheffield. She combines ministry with being a mother to two boys and is particularly interested in the way the two roles inform and connect.

Emma Percy, amongst the first generation of women to be ordained to the priesthood, reflects on her experience of calling and ministry in a variety of contexts as a woman in the Church of England. She explores the value of narrative theology, vocation, and male and female images of God.

Women Priests: The next generation

Catherine Butt, Miranda Threlfall-Holmes and Leah Vasey-Saunders
in conversation with Margaret Masson.

Catherine Butt is curate of St. Mary’s, Bletchley in the diocese of Oxford.
Miranda Threlfall-Holmes is curate of St Gabriel's, Heaton in the diocese of Newcastle.
Leah Vasey-Saunders is curate of St. John's, Whorlton in the diocese of Newcastle

This article is the report of a conversation that took place at Cranmer Hall, Durham in the last few weeks of Catherine, Miranda and Leah's training for ordination. All three women are in their twenties and were ordained as deacons in the Church of England in June 2003. Here they reflect on their experience as young women in the church.

Women in the Episcopate?

Professor Ann Loades CBE has recently retired as Professor of Divinity at the University of Durham. Apart from being author/editor of a wide range of books, essays and articles, she edited Theology for several years and has been a member of a number of Church of England committees. She is currently a lay member of Durham Cathedral Chapter.

Ann Loades is a member of the Church of England’s Working Party on ‘Women in the Episcopate’. In this article she gives us an insight into the workings of this group and looks at some of the main issues at stake in this debate. She calls for serious new thinking about all orders of ordained ministry, including the permanent diaconate, and reminds us of the way women have traditionally been seen as “at fault” in the Church. She also raises important questions about ecumenism and episcopacy and reflects on the need for process and transparency in episcopal appointments.

Almost Evangelical

The Revd Canon Anne Dyer is Ministry Development Officer in the Diocese of Rochester and a member of the Chapter of Rochester Cathedral.

Anne Dyer looks at the difficulties in being an ordained evangelical woman within the church today. She considers choices about visibility and what one wears, motherhood and ministry, theological formation, and finally the possibilities and challenges for the evangelical constituency were it able to be truly hospitable to women’s ministry and leadership.

For and Beyond the Ordination of Women

Ivy George grew up in India where she earned degrees in economics and social work from the University of Madras. She is a professor of Sociology at Gordon College, Massachusetts

In this article, Ivy George explores, from a sociological theological perspective, why women’s ordination is important for the church, but also examines the limitations of the kind of transformation this can achieve. If the Church, as institution, has moved a long way from the vision of the Jesus of the gospels, what might it mean for women and men to offer a prophetic witness to faith and justice?

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