40th Anniversary of the foundation of Sydney MOW
SERVICES at Christ Church St Laurence — 9am and 10.30am
Guest preacher: The Archbishop of Perth, The Most Reverend Kay Goldsworthy AO
The Dr Patricia Brennan AM Lecture: The Venerable Dr Colleen O’Reilly AM
Photography by Julie Crowley
The Movement for the Ordination of Women was birthed in Sydney in 1983 by women and men passionately committed to the Anglican faith but despairing of the Australian Church’s exclusion of women from ordained ministry on the grounds of their gender.
The pivotal text for MOW members was, and is, Galatians 3:28: There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. We believe that, in Christ, we are all equal with one another.
In most dioceses, women clergy are now a given – deacons since 1986, priests since 1992 and bishops since 2008. In 2018, Bishop Kay Goldsworthy was installed as the first female archbishop in the Anglican Church in Australia.
Over the last forty years, twenty of the twenty-three dioceses of the Anglican Church have moved to ordain women priests, the most recent being the Diocese of the Murray (South Australia) on 12 August 2023. The Anglican Church of Australia Directory 2022/23 shows there are 154 active women deacons, 410 active women priests and 7 active Episcopal bishops.
There are many provinces in the Anglican Communion world-wide that permit the consecration of female bishops. GAFCON Australia notes, ‘ordained women have been involved in GAFCON from its inception, and ordained women serve in our leadership’ (hhps://www.gafconaustralia.org/faq/). There are 3 female bishops in GAFCON.
MOW is not only about securing the ordination of women. From its early days it was also concerned about the way the Church regarded all women – in its language, lectionary readings and liturgy and in excluding them from its decision-making bodies.
MOW continues to encourage the Church to make full use of the ministries of women, to promote women’s perspectives in theology, to honour the breadth and diversity of women’s ministry and to promote theological learning and discussion. Above all, MOW remains committed to challenging and transforming the Anglican Church of Australia and its role in the community.
To learn more about MOW or to support our activities, visit hpps://mowatch.com.au/ or contact the Sydney Convenor (email@example.com) or the national President (firstname.lastname@example.org).
A major conference will be held in Brisbane in November 2024 to mark the 40th anniversary of MOW as a national organisation.