2004 marked the tenth anniversary of the first ordinations of women to the priesthood in the Church of England. This independent and timely study explores the church's experience of this first decade, drawing on the results of a large-scale questionnaire survey and extensive interviews with Anglican congregations and clergy.
Key findings relate to:
Patterns of support/opposition to women's priesting amongst clergy and churchgoers;
Perceptions of the impact of the decision to ordain women as priests over the first ten years;
How women's priestly ministry has been received in practice, and what are the key issues for the future.
The report offers new evidence on the level of acceptance of women's priestly ministry in the Church of England, identifies some of the main practical challenges in implementing the change, and suggests alternative ways of looking beyond the usual labelling of people into "supporters" and "opponents" of women's priesting.
Dr Ian Jones is Research Associate at the Lincoln Theological Institute for the Study of Religion and Society, Department of Religions and Theology, University of Manchester. He also works on twentieth century English church history, particularly local congregational life.