Women in Ordained Ministry


Women in Ordained Ministry

Women, from all walks of life, social classes and ethnic backgrounds have always served to bring the transforming power of the Gospel into every context. Ordained women are vital to the work of the Diocese of Ely as 'we pray to be generous and visible people of Jesus Christ'.

The Bishop's Adviser for Women in Ministry for Ely Diocese (DAWM)

The Revd Canon Wendy Thomson can be contacted on 01354 692173 or by email wendy@chatteris.org

Wendy 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 gender balance,transparency, good practice, policies, 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 Diocese of Ely consistently leads the way in national comparisons. In 2019, women accounted for 42% of all ordained clergy, 41% of all incumbents and one of our Bishops in the Diocese of Ely.  
  • The number of women serving on diocesan committees, senior staff, self-supporting ministry (SSMs) and the cathedral staff are steadily growing with the support of our Bishops, Senior Staff and Diocesan Directors.
  • 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 invites all female clergy to discuss concerns, including workplace culture and the recruitment 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.

Useful links

  • NADAWM website
  • Transformations Group (Church of England Steering Group for women's ordained ministry) 
  • Junia Network (Evangelical Women's Network) 
  • WATCH (Women and the Church) 
  • The Sophia Network (women's leadership in ministry, originally for women youth workers but now for all forms of lay and ordained ministry 


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Page last updated: 22nd March 2022 11:07 AM
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We pray to be generous and visible people of Jesus Christ

Ely Diocesan Board of Finance is a company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales with company number 142183, and a charity registered in England and Wales with Charity Number 245456. The registered address is: Diocesan Office, Bishop Woodford House, Barton Road, Ely, Cambridgeshire CB7 4DX. All rights reserved.