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Women and the Church (WATCH) is a national organisation working actively for gender justice, equality and inclusion in the Church of England.

Founded in 1996 with ten over-arching aims, we have achieved one: the appointment of women as bishops.

Even though our first female bishops have been appointed, we still face an enormous disparity in the numbers of women and men appointed to senior leadership roles or chosen to run parishes.

We have a long way to go.

Women contribute to the life and work of their churches in myriad ways. We support, respect and encourage laywomen, and want to ensure their status and place in the church is undiminished while that of ordained women rises.

Together we can ensure gender justice is achieved throughout the Church.

We recognise the urgent need for campaigning and support work on gender-based violence. Other agencies are doing excellent work in this area and therefore we leave that to them. 'Restored'  is one such alliance across the churches.

There is much more to do, explore, challenge and discover in God’s intention for women and men together.

We're Just Getting Started:

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Affirming - Focus on Laity

Reaffirming and restoring the place of the laity, particularly laywomen, in:

  • Their calling and work in the world
  • Their contribution to the life of the Church of England
  • Leadership in parishes and other church life
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Campaigning

  • Working actively for the Church of England to be a place of gender justice, including preparing a gender justice policy
  • Monitoring the outworking of the 5 principles
  • Challenging discriminatory, unjust and unpleasant behaviour towards ordained women
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Transforming

Working with the Lambeth-based Transformations Steering Group to change the gender culture of the Church of England via:

  • Research on the profile, status and treatment of ordained women
  • Theological study of gender and beyond (with the Faith and Order Commission)
  • Inclusive liturgical language (with the Liturgical Commission)
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Resources

Online resources for issues of significance to women in the church, including guides to particular issues (eg headship):

  • Feminist theology – from beginners to advanced
  • Worship resources and prayers
  • Resources relating to the campaigns for women’s ordination as priests and bishops

We will continue our work in these two areas:

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General Synod

Working to:

  • Elect a more representative House of Laity in autumn 2015
  • Contribute to agenda items on issues to do with WATCH
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Parliament

  • Keeping Parliamentary colleagues abreast of issues to do with women and the Established Church, so they can give appropriate support in Parliament