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National Association of Diocesan Advisers in Women’s Ministry

Transformations Agenda

In 2010, in response to the slow progress of the women bishops legislation through Synod, a group of women was invited by the then Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, to discuss the situation. They were tasked with convening a conference, ‘Transformations: Theology and Experience of Women’s Ministry’, at Lambeth Palace in September 2011 to celebrate and explore the experience of ordained women.

The conference was celebratory, but also acknowledged where the church is failing its women. Over 60 people – women and men, lay and ordained – met to explore a range of issues, including synodical processes, liturgical language, the deployment of women clergy and the interpretation of scripture. Each group was invited to feed back suggestions for action. A detailed report, including group feedback and recommendations to the House of Bishops, was written and circulated.

The conference planning group emerged as the ‘Transformations Steering Group’, to take forward this agenda.  The TSG meets at Lambeth Palace three times a year, and is constituted of two members from each of the following groups:

The TSG regularly reports back to the College of Bishops. In September 2012, they focussed on statistics about women’s ministry, highlighting both some significant differences between the typical vocational pathways of women and men, and the need to further research these differences and their causes.  In September 2013, the TSG held a day event for the College of Bishops.  Each Bishop was requested to invite a woman he works with in his diocese, resulting in a real critical mass of women meeting with the College as senior colleagues.  Attendees were presented with initial research findings and explored ways to address some of the issues raised at a Diocesan level, including sharing best practice. 

The Transformations agenda is largely being taken forward through sub-groups of TSG:

It is envisaged that the TSG will exist for as long as it takes to see through progress in the Church on the areas identified in the 2011 conference.  Further information can be found at https://www.churchofengland.org/clergy-office-holders/ministry/deployment/transformations.aspx