22.8.08

Why we need books like Rosie Ward's and people with her role

The BBC reports today on how women struggle with traditional churches, we are not bringing the gospel to this generation of women in a way that makes them hunger for more, in fact it would seem from the local report (Derby) that traditional churches that teach a hierarchical gospel are making women run from the pews (exaggeration on my part - but I think it needs to be given attention)!

Women 'leaving Church of England'

Church - generic

The Church of England has lost about 50,000 women every year from its congregation since 1989, according to a Derby-based sociologist.

Dr Kristin Aune, from the University of Derby, said many young women were put off by the traditional values.


She said television programmes promoting female empowerment also discouraged women from going to church.

Dr Aune based the figures for her book on information gathered from the English Church Census.

Unpopular values

Dr Aune, co-author of Women and Religion in the West, said: "In short, women are abandoning the church.

"Young women tend to express egalitarian values and dislike the traditionalism and hierarchies they imagine are integral to the church."

She said many women found it difficult to make time for church while juggling work and family.

"With the pressures women face, churches must adapt to make themselves more accessible."

She added that while the issue of the ordination of women was being discussed, "we have taken our eyes off the pews, where a shift with more consequences for the church's survival is under way".

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A little background reading on the two theological integrities in the Church of England regarding women in ministry.