“We thank God for all those women who have gone before us and continue to give thanks to God for the variety of ministries women where women currently serve,” said Archdeacon Kara Hartley about Synod’s recent passing of her motion on women’s ministry.

The motion passed in September was put forward by the Archdeacon for Women’s Ministry and noted 100 years since the passing of significant ordinance known as the ‘Women's Work in the Church Ordinance 1922’.

The measure passed by that Synod formally gave permission for women to participate in some form of ‘up front ministry’ at a time when the only people allowed to lead services, preach or anything else in front of a congregation was the Rector or those men approved by the Archbishop. Although the phrasing used in the ordinance was that Deaconesses, as well as lay women approved by the Archbishop could ‘address the congregation’, Archdeacon Hartley said “I presume it meant some form of proclamation or exhortation of the Bible, the occasional sermon or perhaps an update from a female missionary.” 

The 2022 Synod motion gave thanks “for the hundreds of women, both ordained and lay, who have served and do serve in gospel ministry across the Diocese and rejoices in the variety of ministries in which women participate, including parish ministries, chaplaincy in schools and with Anglicare in hospitals, prisons and aged care.”

Archdeacon Hartley welcomed the passing of the motion saying, “We continue as we began. Women and the contribution they bring to gospel work continues to have value in our diocese.” She noted the final section of the 2022 motion, which “encourages the parishes and organisations of the Diocese to “continue to promote the ministry of women, and to foster collaborative ministry relationships between women and men, for the glory of Christ.”

Feature picture: Archdeacon Kara Hartley