It’s 25 years since women entered the ranks of Anglican priests, but what has happened since then?
Five years ago, legislation was introduced allowing women to be appointed as bishops, but since the end of 2018, only four diocesan bishops (out of a total of 44) are women. While Anglican policy seems much more liberal, the actual composition of the Church remains fairly unequal.
Some say ordained female ministers violate traditional Christian beliefs about women and motherhood. Others point to females within the Bible as proof that Christianity does believe in powerful women.
I find both of these arguments redundant. As a Protestant man, but not affiliated with any denomination, I’m not a fan of church worship. It’s a bit too prescriptive for my liking. Attending church is a social occasion, and that’s where we can see what impact female ministers have on the make-up of their parishes.
In my opinion, if the majority of attendees are female, it would be beneficial to have a host of ministers and bishops that represent this. However, I don’t think the Anglican Church is inherently misogynistic.
The process towards changing an institution like a Church can take a long time, and so far things have been heading in the right direction. The policy is now in place, and given the increasing secularisation of the UK, I suspect that these numbers will right themselves.
The Anglican Church has a way to go before it truly represents the demographic of its attendees, but things are heading in the right direction. If women make up such a large section of its members, then the numbers will sort themselves out in time.