Women's ministry

All who are baptized are called to ministry and for some this will be a calling to ordained ministry.

The Church needs a wide variety of clergy, women and men, from all walks of life, social classes and ethnic backgrounds if it is to truly represent and bring the transforming power of the Gospel into every cultural context.

We work together in this ministry; as stated in the diocesan vision, 'we pray to be generous and visible people of Jesus Christ’.

The Bishop's Adviser for Women's Ministry for Ely Diocese is Wendy Thomson.

Please contact Wendy on wendy@chatteris.org or 01354 692173. She represents the needs and circumstances of ordained women as a member of the Bishop's Senior Staff team as well as the vicar of a Market town. Her role as Adviser is to promote the full inclusion of women with the following three priorities:

  • Encouraging young vocations (under 32 years)
  • Supporting well-being and aspiration for women in Ministry at every level
  • Monitoring Diocese of Ely HR for good practice, habits and ethos

Wendy is supported in her role by other ordained women, the women’s Focus Group and in the Clergy Well-Being Group and sends out a digital newsletter with regular updates for women clergy.

Is the Diocese of Ely a good place for women?

This is a good question to ask, especially if you are exploring the possibility of ordination or if you are looking to move into the diocese. Ministry is not easy and it is important that the diocese is behind you as you step out into new challenges ahead. The Women’s Focus group have done some research and these are their results

  • When it comes to gender balance, the diocesan audits in 2014 and 2017 show encouraging results. It was already apparent that on national comparisons, the Diocese of Ely came out on top with the highest ratio of women, 45 out of 112 full time incumbents, serving as full time incumbents in 2017. The number of women serving on diocesan committees, senior staff, self- supporting ministry and the cathedral staff are steadily growing with the support of our Bishops, Senior Staff and Diocesan Directors.
  • A recent diocesan survey of opinion shows that female clergy are comfortable with their roles and for the most enjoying the challenges of ministry in the diocese.
  • Clergy well-being is a priority in our diocese. Information is readily available for all clergy to access further support either for personal reasons or for a member of their family.
  • The Women’s Focus Group meet three times a year to represent the needs and concerns of women clergy, including the following issues: family and single-friendly HR policies, work place culture, recruitment for women across the church traditions.

The Diocese of Ely is a good place for women to work and minister. We are encouraged by the healthy gender balance and support at every level. If you have any further questions or concerns, please do get in touch.

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