Three new advocates have been appointed to become Bishop’s Advisors for Women’s Ministry. The trio will work at a diocesan level on all areas which affect ordained women. This includes recruitment and interviews; maternity and anti-bullying policies; to wellbeing and support systems as well as encouragement for senior roles.
They are available to offer advice for individuals and advocate for them and will build on the supportive clergy network established by their predecessor the Rev Felicity Scroggie. The Revd Liz Jackson, who is Associate Archdeacon of Berkshire, will coordinate the three new area roles.
Canon Liz Jackson
The Revd Canon Liz Jackson, is the Associate Archdeacon of Berkshire focussing on parishes in West Berkshire. She joined the diocese in 2020 from Coventry, where she was Area Dean of Coventry North and Vicar of St Francis of Assisi Church, Radford.
Liz has a passion for social justice, having previously worked with the homeless, refugees and asylum seekers.
“I would describe myself as a feminist interested in theology and how that works in the context of the Church of England,” she says. “We are not yet in a post-patriarchal world and parts of the church still don’t accept the ministry and over-sight of women. That impacts on how women can do their ministry and how that’s received. As working women we face the same discrimination as our sisters in secular employment face in terms of sexism, bullying and harassment.
“With recruitment to the Church of England heading towards a 50:50 divide, women are significantly under-represented in senior leadership. So advocates for Women’s Ministry are vital when women already find themselves of the back foot.
“We want to help women be more effective in their mission and ministry. Some of that entails challenging policy and some of the is affecting culture change. Helping things to shift and become better.”
The Revd Preb Jane Haslam
Jane grew up in a village near Abingdon and, after university, returned to work for a charity in Oxford before becoming a lay assistant in a parish on the outskirts of Newbury.
She completed ordination training at Trinity College, Bristol, and was ordained at Wells Cathedral. Since then, she has worked in parish ministry in several different contexts for 25 years, most recently as Rector of the Alfred Jewel Benefice in the Diocese of Bath and Wells where she has been since 2010. Jane was also Chair of the House of Clergy of the Bath and Wells Diocesan Synod since 2017 and Area Dean of Sedgemoor since 2018.
In July 2023 she was appointed as Associate Archdeacon of Dorchester.
“I bring many years of parish experience to the role,” says Jane. “I want to encourage women in their personal ministry, their personal vocations and what God is calling them to do.
“I hope to encourage women in their leadership. That doesn’t necessarily mean climbing ‘the ladder’ but their leadership style and flourishing in that leadership role. And to help them grow in confidence, to consider what other options there might be,” she said.
The Revd Dr Sally Welch
Currently the Diocesan Canon at Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford, Sally has spent all her ministry in the diocese since her ordination in1999. She went on to work as a parish priest within the Diocese of Oxford, in a variety of different contexts, as well as Diocesan Spirituality Adviser and Area Dean of Chipping Norton.
She is the author of a number of books and was the editor of New Daylight Bible reading notes for seven years.
Her particular interest is the spirituality and practice of pilgrimage. Sally has worked with the diocese and Christ Church Cathedral on a number of different pilgrimage projects, including the annual St Frideswide Pilgrimage.
She said: “I became a Deacon in 1999, five or six years after women were permitted to be ordained and in some roles I was the first woman priest.
“The landscape for women priests has changed a considerable amount over the last 20 years but not all the work is done yet. I think women priests come across issues and challenges that are particular to them that need a forum for discussion, advice or support.
“I had four children and I currently have three children under five living with me, I know what it is like to be juggling ministry and home life, as many of our clergy do. My hope is that in this role I will be able to support and encourage women in their ministry.”