Moravian Messenger Oct 2020
P. 1

The 27th October 1970 was described by Bishop John Foy as a unique day, a day where traditions and authority were both challenged and also re-established, as we added a 'new dimension to the Ministry of our Moravian Church'. He was speaking during his address as Sr Emily Shaw became the first woman to be ordained in the British Province.
Sr Shaw's service in the Church began long before her ordination. Originally from Westwood, Oldham she was an integral part of both the Girl Guides and the Scout movement in Lancashire, before moving to Fulneck to take up the post of warden for the Choir House in 1961. Upon ordination, Sr Shaw went on to faithfully serve the congregations of Woodford Halse, Eydon and Priors Marston where she was eventually accepted and became well loved.
It is evident from correspondence that Sr Shaw did not set out to be unique, or indeed a trailblazer for women in the ministry, but she grasped at the opportunity to
widen and make more effective her commitment to God through Church service. Yet we cannot allow the anniversary of her ordination to go by without note, but instead take opportunity to look back and celebrate the journey that started more than fifty years before 1970 and continues today.
The roles that women can occupy and the responsibilities they can bear that would have normally been only accessible to their male counterparts was a topic that preoccupied not only the Church but wider society for much of the 20th century.
On the political stage, the Representation of the People Act was passed in 1918, extending the vote to women for the first time. A success for the Suffrage movement, 8.5 million women in the UK were enfranchised, yet it was a stuttering start. Only women over the age of 30 who met the property qualification were entitled to vote. Two thirds of the female population remained without a vote until the Equal Franchise Act 1928.
Meanwhile in 1919, at the Provincial Synod of the British Province a proposal came forward to allow women to be eligible for roles on all representative and administrative bodies of the Moravian Church as well as being eligible for election to District Conference and Synod. While the proposal did not pass in its entirety, women became eligible for Congregation Committees and for election, with voting rights at District Conference and Synod.
continued inside on pages 124-125
Summer Camp 2020
20-20 Vision
(page 123)
Sr Emily Shaw
Courage calls to Courage everywhere...
Ordination of Women in the British Province
Wellhouse Moravian Church New Church Building 50 Year Anniversary
(page 126- 127)
Jayne Louise Clark
28.1.1966 - 23.7.2020
(pages 129)
Helping reduce plastic one cup at a time
(page 129)

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