MOW Australia Ltd.     ACN: 601 233 489


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Sydney MOW chapter




This is the website of MOW Australia as well as its Sydney chapter - Sydney Movement for the Ordination of Women (Sydney MOW).

MOW Australia:

  • Encourages women to hear and respond to the call of God
  • Recognises, encourages and extends the ministries of women
  • Encourages the church to make full use of the ministries of women
  • Encourages expression of women's perspectives in theology
  • Celebrates diversity in spirituality
  • Promotes the use of inclusive language in worship and Church life
  • Seeks to move all dioceses in the Anglican Church of Australia to admit women to the ordained ministries of the Church
  • Seeks to bring laity and clergy into closer partnership
  • Liaises with appropriate national and international women's groups
  • Fosters ecumenical links and supports moves to ordain women in other churches
  • Supports those women already ordained
  • Gathers and shares information between members across all dioceses

MOW Australia publishes MOWatching periodically; holds occasional conferences with quality local and international speakers; publishes conference proceedings; produces merchandise when appropriate; hosts a website; has an email group; holds lectures, seminars, retreats and quiet days; has a local branch in Sydney (Sydney MOW); and MOW Australia organises activities in other states.

Read the objects of MOW Australia, as stated in our constitution at Clause 1.4.

Below you can find news relating to the movement (or visit the archive). If you have questions about us or want to get involved, please contact us. We can give you information and share our experiences with you. Above all, we welcome courteous and sincere dialogue with those who may disagree with us.


"Muriel Porter has done the Church a great service in offering a snapshot of where we stand today and what the horizon looks like. It is a only a short book and there is much that invites further conversation and no doubt argument. This is all to the good for we are in transitional times as a church and society and this demands a fresh dialogue and respectful listening to one another." Bishop Stephen Pickard.

Download Flyer (pdf)      Download Order Form (pdf)


On 29 August 2015, MOW Australia Ltd and the Committee for the Sydney Movement for the Ordination of Women (Sydney MOW) held our AGM’s at St Luke’s Anglican Church in Mosman, NSW.

Rev. Andrew Sempell

Our guest speaker was the Rev. Andrew Sempell, BA, BTh. Dip Min., Rector of St James, King Street.
As rector of one of Sydney’s leading high church parishes since 2010, Andrew has been willing to discuss some of the controversial issues in the Anglican church of our day.
Andrew’s address: “Fathers, Heretics and the Failure of Mission” can be downloaded by clicking on the link: Sempell-MOW-paper_15-08.pdf

MOW Australia Limited Annual General Meeting, 29 August 2015 – President’s Report by Rev. Jeannette McHugh

Rev. Jeannette McHugh, President of MOWh Australia Ltd

MOWatch-AGM-29-Aug-2015 Presidents-Report_Jeannette-McHugh.pdf

Sydney Movement for the Ordination of Women (MOW) AGM, 29 August 2015 – Convenor’s Report by Rev. Lu Piper

Rev. Lu Piper, Convenor of Sydney MOW

MOW-Sydney-Convenors-Report_Rev-Lu-Piper_29 Aug-2015.pdf

Vale Bishop Barbara Darling

MOW Australia join the Australian Bishops, Clergy and Laity in mourning the death of the Rt Rev’d Barbara Brinsley Darling on Sunday, 15th February 2015.

The funeral service took place at St Paul's Cathedral on Sunday 22 February 2015. She was among the first women to be made deacon in the Anglican Church of Australia on 9 February 1986, and was ordained to the priesthood in 1992. She became the first female bishop in the Anglican Diocese of Melbourne.

The transcripts of the tributes made to Bishop Barbara Darling during the funeral service, including the sermon preached by Bishop Kay Goldsworthy, Bishop-elect of Gippsland and The Most Revd. Glenn Davies, Archbishop of Sydney are available on the Anglican Diocese of Melbourne website:

Vale Revd Beth Spence

We are deeply saddened to hear that the Reverend Beth Spence has died after a short illness. Please pray for Beth's family - her husband Michael and their 5 children. Also for her extended family in the United States.

Beth was a priest, ordained in the Diocese of Oxford, who was only able to function as a deacon in Sydney. She exercised her ministry in Sydney with grace and generosity and demonstrated her deep faith in all that she did.

She spoke about her journey of faith at a Sydney MOW AGM a couple of years ago and also co facilitated a wonderful workshop on prayer for us. Both occasions were greatly appreciated by those who attended.

May she rest in peace and rise in Glory.

Updated 22 December 2012

Pictures from our recent national conference now available online

Photo: 2011-12 President Susan Sandford presenting the theses that were pinned to the door of St Andrews Cathedral, Sydney, when the Australian Movement for the Ordination of Women first began

Thanks to Vicky Cullen, Jeannette McHugh and the 2011-12 MOW Australia executive for a wonderful MOW Australia conference celebrating the 20th anniversary of women priests in the Australian Anglican Church.

Visit this page to look at the pictures from the November conference celebrating 20 years of women priests in Australia. Thanks Elaine Lindsay for these great photos!

Updated 22 December 2012

Welcome new MOW Australia Committee for 2012-13

A new Committee was elected at the MOW Australia National Conference and AGM in Canberra. Thank you to retiring committee members, especially our retiring President Susan Sandford, Vice President Lesley McLean and Secretary Rachel Toal. Sue Henry-Edwards will continue in ex officio membership as Sydney MOW Convenor, while Judy Little continues as a general committee member and our long-serving treasurer Kathleen Toal continues in that role as well. The updated committee list is on our "contact us" page.

Updated 22 December 2012

Melbourne priest to become Queensland's first woman bishop

The Venerable Alison Taylor, Melbourne's Archdeacon for International Partnerships and Vicar of St John's Anglican Church Camberwell, has been appointed to lead the Southern Region of the Diocese of Brisbane as Queensland's first woman bishop. The news was announced on 2 December. She will fill the role when current Bishop, the Right Reverend Geoff Smith, takes on the role of General Manager of the Brisbane Diocese early next year. Read the media release from the Anglican Diocese of Melbourne.

Updated 22 December 2012

Transcript of public lecture by Rt Rev Genieve Blackwell, first female bishop consecrated in NSW

Photo: Sydney MOW Convenor Sue Henry-Edwards, committee member Mandy Tibbey and Rt Rev Genieve Blackwell after the lecture

Sydney MOW recently hosted a public lecture by Rt Rev Genieve Blackwell, with the theme "Behold, I Make All Things New!". It is an interesting insight into her journey from the Uniting Church, to Moore College, to becoming Australia's third female bishop in 2012; and a thoughtful reflection on Paul, women and leadership in the church. Download the transcript.

Updated 22 December 2012

Article by Julia Baird marking 20 years of women priests in the Australian Anglican church

Julia Baird argues in the Sydney Morning Herald today that "two thousand years ago, the Christian church was radical in a culture of patriarchy. Now, in Sydney, it is a reactionary in a culture of equality." Her piece documents a recent motion at Sydney Synod by Professor Bernard Stewart and Reverend Philip Bradford to note the 20th anniversary of women's ordination to the priesthood - a motion that was amended by Synod to erase any mention of ordination and simply give thanks for women's ministry.

Updated 1 December 2012

Preachers, Prophets and Heretics editors interviewed by Rachael Kohn for The Spirit of Things

Sunday 14 October: Dr Rachael Kohn will interview Janet Scarfe and Elaine Lindsay about their book Preachers, Prophets and Heretics: Anglican Women's Ministry for ABC radio national program The Spirit of Things. The program will be replayed on Tuesday 16 October and available to download as a podcast. More information on the Spirit of Things website.

Updated 12 October 2012

Upcoming events in Sydney: launch of Preachers, Prophets and Heretics, and public lecture with the first female bishop ordained in NSW

The Sydney launch of Preachers, Prophets and Heretics: Anglican Women's Ministry has been confirmed for 2-5pm Saturday 17 November. On the 7th of November you are also invited to a public lecture by Rt Rev Genieve Blackwell, first female bishop consecrated in NSW, with the theme "Behold, I Make All Things New!".

For details please see the Sydney MOW page.

Updated 12 October 2012

Early bird registration now closed for 2012 MOWatch Conference - register at standard rates before 31 October

The theme of this year's conference is "And your daughters shall prophesy... 20 years of women priests in Australia". It will be held on 20-23 November 2012 in Canberra with keynote speakers Dr Janet Scarfe, Dr Heather Thompson, Rev'd Dr Sarah Bachelard and The Rt Rev'd Kay Goldsworthy. Register before 31 October for 'standard' prices of $415 for members or $465 for non-members.

Download the registration form for more details, print and send by mail or register online through TryBooking here. More details are available on the special Conferences page.

Updated 1 October 2012

Sydney MOW Annual General Meeting with Rev Karen Kime

Sydney MOW members and supporters are invited to come together for our 2012 Annual General Meeting, with guest speaker Rev. Karen Kime, first female Aboriginal Archdeacon in Australia, on 29 September. Download the flyer as a pdf here. Contact Sue Henry-Edwards for more information on 9557 4280.

Updated 29 August 2012

Preachers, Prophets & Heretics: Anglican Women's Ministry in bookshops from 1 September

Update: this book, which marks the twentieth anniversary of the first Australian women priests in 1992, will be available in bookshops from 1 September. See below for more information and to order online.

Updated 19 August 2012

Preachers, Prophets & Heretics: Anglican Women's Ministry

Preachers, Prophets & Heretics: Anglican Women's Ministry, edited by Elaine Lindsay and Janet Scarfe (UNSW Press, 2012), has been published to mark the 20th anniversary in 2012 of the ordination of women as priests in the Anglican Church in Australia. In it, key supporters of women's ordination and astute observers analyse and reflect on the controversy, its context and some of its consequences from their particular stand-points.

The eighteen contributors include lawyer Keith Mason, Bishops Keith Rayner and Peter Carnley, MOW president Janet Scarfe, campaigner Muriel Porter, priests Elizabeth Smith and Peta Sherlock, intercessor Janet Nelson, academic Heather Thomson, and historians Peter Sherlock, David Hilliard and Anne O'Brien.

The span is far wider than the dioceses where 'it' happened. Considerable attention is given to the Diocese of Sydney. It also reaches beyond Australian Anglicans: Jane Shaw provides the international context for the debate, Katharine Massam explores Catholic feminism, and Rachael Kohn Muslim women reformers.

This is the first time that this tumultuous period has been analysed in such a way. The contributors and their chapters are all fascinating and thought-provoking.

The book is dedicated to Patricia Brennan, foundation president of MOW.

Publication of Preachers Prophets & Heretics will be celebrated in Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide.

In Melbourne, +Barbara Darling, Assistant Bishop of Melbourne, will launch Preachers Prophets & Heretics during an all day conference at Trinity College, University of Melbourne, on Saturday 22 September 2012. The conference is part of the celebrations of 20 years of women priests in the Diocese of Melbourne, and a number of the book's contributors will speak. For conference bookings, visit the online booking page, call 03 9348 7127 or email

In Adelaide, Archbishop Jeffrey Driver will launch the book as a formal part of synod on Sunday 21 October. A celebratory dinner will be held that evening in a local restaurant. All welcome. For further information, contact Dianne Bradley

In Sydney, the Honorable Elizabeth Evatt AC will launch PPH at an event to be hosted by St James' Church, King St, Sydney, on Saurday 17 November. Several Sydney-based contributors will also speak. More details will be available as soon as the program is finalised.

Details about ordering the book via the web with 20% off the normal price are at NewSouthBooks or download the order form here [pdf]

Updated 15 July 2012

ABC Radio interview marking 20th anniversary of women priests

Listen to an interview with Dr Janet Scarfe, Bishop Barbara Darling and Dr Elaine Lindsay on Sunday Nights with John Cleary on ABC Radio. The program was aired following the event at the St James Institute. Janet and Elaine have edited a book to be released in September by New South Publishing titled, Preachers, Prophets & Heretics: Anglican Women's Ministry.

Updated 16 June 2012

Theme and keynote speakers announced for this year's MOWatch Conference

The theme for this year's MOWatch Conference is "And your daughters shall prophesy... 20 years of women priests in Australia". It will be held on 20-23 November 2012 in Canberra with keynote speakers Dr Janet Scarfe, Dr Heather Thompson, Rev'd Dr Sarah Bachelard and The Rt Rev'd Kay Goldsworthy.

Abstracts relating to the theme are invited by 31 May 2012.

Details are available on the special Conferences page which will be regularly updated as more announcements are made.

Updated 27 May 2012

Calendar of Anniversary Year events updated

In 2012 we are celebrating the 20th anniversary of women priests in the Australian Anglican Church. More information and a calendar of special events are available online here, and is regularly updated as more events are organised. A celebratory service in Hobart on 21 December has been added now - visit this page for more details.

Updated 27 May 2012

MOWatch Quiet Day materials now available

In the Anniversary Year celebrating women ordained to the priesthood in Australia the focus for reflection will be three women in our English Church tradition who helped shape that tradition. The theme this year is "Learning, gentleness and the arts - Abbesses of Saxon England as models of ministry". The Quiet Day material was prepared by the Rev'd Lesley McLean.

Please note that the material is really meant for leaders who are organising groups to participate in the Quiet Day. It is recommended that participants do not study the material beforehand so the spontaneity is preserved.

Download the Quiet Day materials by clicking here [pdf].

We encourage you to register that you are participating in the Quiet Day by contacting Lesley McLean - click here to send an email.

In Sydney, MOWatch members and supporters will gather together in Concord on the day - Saturday 23 June. Details of the Sydney gathering are available here.

Updated 22 May 2012

Special edition MOWatch jewellery in MOWatch/suffragette colours

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of women priests in Australia, jewellery maker Alan Temme has designed a special range of jewellery using the MOWatch/ suffragette colours of green white and violet.

Alan Temme has been designing and making jewellery for the last seventeen years, using semi precious stones and sterling silver components. He works out of the Old Bus Depot Markets in Canberra, and is a member of the St Philips Anglican congregation in O'Connor ACT. The Reverend Jeannette McHugh asked him to design a range of jewellery using the MOWatch/ suffragette colours of green white and violet. For green he has chosen green aventurine, for white either mother of pearl or white howlite, and for violet amethyst. The range includes necklaces, earrings, pendants and bracelets.

Images of and information about the jewellery, including the artist statement, information about how to order, prices and shipping information are available here. They will also be available at the MOWatch national conference later in the year.

Updated 28 April 2012

For more news, see the archives.

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