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This page contains an archive of news items relating to the movement. You can also download recent editions of MOWatching, the magazine of the national Movement. 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.

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MOWatch Quiet Day: Learning, gentleness and the arts - Abbesses of Saxon England as models of ministry

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 Quiet Day material was prepared by the Rev'd Lesley McLean.

To participate in the Quiet Day you need to register from 23 May to Lesley McLean - click here to send an email.

Download the flyer for more information [pdf].

Updated 11 April 2012

20th anniversary of women priests in the Australian Anglican Church

MOWatch is celebrating this year the 20th anniversary since the first women priests were ordained in the Australian Anglican Church.

Visit our special anniversary page to download a timeline of events in 1992 and browse the calendar of special celebratory events being held around Australia.

The logo on the left was designed by Ro Yule for MOW Melbourne for the 1992 ordinations. It was used on a large banner in St Paul's Cathedral and appeared on souvenirs such as mugs and scarves. We will be using it as a special anniversary logo during this year, 2012. The logo appears here as it was used on the banner.

Updated 28 January 2012

Vale Pam Albany

Pam Albany died peacefully on 28 December after 11 weeks in Palliative Care at Calvary Hospital in Sydney. Pam was convenor of MOW Perth in the early years of MOW and became one of the first Vice-Presidents of MOW National. Pam was a person who gave much of herself in the cause of women and the Church. An early prophet, she is one for whom we all give thanks.

A Thanksgiving Eucharist will be held at St Mark's South Hurstville on Tuesday 3rd at 10:30am. Followed by refreshments in the hall. A short Committal Service will be held at Woronora Crematorium at 2:30pm.

Please continue to keep Chris, Alison, Bruce and Katie and Pam's mum Alice in your prayers.
Updated 31 December 2011

And Genieve makes three...

Genieve Blackwell MOWatch members and friends are all delighted at the appointment of a third woman to be a bishop in the Anglican Church of Australia. Bp Stuart Robinson has announced that he will consecrate Archdeacon Genieve Blackwell as a bishop on 31st March 2012. Bishop-elect Genieve is to be the Assistant Bishop region of Wagga Wagga, North-West and South-West in the Diocese of Canberra-Goulburn. Genieve is currently Rector of Yass and Archdeacon of Goulburn Rural Ministries. In early 2012 she will move to Wagga Wagga and become Rector of Turvey Park and Archdeacon of Wagga Wagga.

Genieve studied at Moore College, Sydney and was ordained Deacon in Sydney in 1993, she moved to Bathurst Diocese where she was ordained priest in 1998. She appointed as Rector of Yass in the Diocese of Canberra-Goulburn in 2005. Genieve was appointed an archdeacon in 2007.

Archdeacon Ian Lambert will be Assistant Bishop region of the Coast, Southern Monaro and the Snowy and will be consecrated with Genieve. The appointments have received the necessary permissions. The chief consecrator at the service will be the Right Reverend Dr Brain Farran, Bishop of Newcastle. Bishop Brian is the most senior Bishop in the Province of NSW and he stands in for the Archbishop when he is unable to be present at certain events.

Further details can be found on the Diocese of Canberra-Goulburn website.

Please pray for Genieve and for Ian as they prepare for lives as bishops.

In 2008 Bishops Kay Goldsworthy (Perth) and Barbara Darling (Melbourne) were both consecrated as bishops.

Sing songs and dance with shouts of joy.
Updated 13 December 2011

Vale Diane Heath

MOWatch Inc celebrates the life of Diane Heath a leader in the Movement for the Ordination of Women both nationally and in Melbourne. In Melbourne Diane was elected as Vice Moderator at the inaugural MOW Melbourne meeting in 1984; after Janet and John Gaden moved to Adelaide in 1986, Diane became co-convenor with Linda Walter and Susan Sandford.

Diane was the first MOW (National) Treasurer and steered the way for incorporation becoming our first Public Officer. Diane spoke passionately in synods and other platforms about the full inclusion of women in the Church. She was one of the women who went to Lambeth in 1988. Diane's own call to the ordained ministry was not accepted in Melbourne and Diane and Gail went to Perth where Diane was ordained as a deacon and subsequently as a priest in 1993. In Perth Diane had several ministries; she retired in 2007 and returned to Melbourne.
Updated 13 December 2011

Celebrating the 25th anniversary of the first women deacons

The year 1986 was an auspicious occasion, during that year Australia's first women deacons were ordained in the dioceses of Melbourne, Tasmania, Perth and North Queensland.

Eight women - Marjorie McGregor, Mary Elizabeth Alfred, Angela Carter, Olive Dyson, Kay Goldsworthy, Carlie Hannah, Bessie Pereira and Kate Prowd - were ordained on Sunday 9 February 1986 at St Paul's Cathedral, Melbourne.

Among these eight women Elizabeth Alfred, retired and then aged 72 had been a deaconess for 42 years. Kate Prowd, on the other hand was fresh from theological college, ordained alongside her classmates as a matter of course. There was a second ordination of women deacons in Melbourne on May 9 1986, because the numbers were too great for one service.

Three women, Marie Kingston, Elvie Fraser and Rosemary Perrett were later ordained deacon in Tasmania on 24 February.

In Perth the first three women, Jenny Hall, Joyce Polson and Anna Cullen were ordained as deacon on March 1st.

In 1992 Kay Goldswothy was among the first women to be ordained as priest in Perth and in 2008 became Australia's first woman to be consecrated as a bishop.

So, there is plenty of reason to celebrate.
Updated 11 November 2011

"A son has been born to Naomi: the politics of begetting in the book of Ruth": An Afternoon with Meg Warner (following MOWatch Annual General Meeting)

Come along and explore how the story of Ruth challenged the mainstream ideologies of its time. This is a rare chance to engage actively with exciting new biblical scholarship, regardless of the extent of your knowledge of the Old Testament. You may like to bring your own Bible.

This special talk will follow the Annual General Meeting of MOWatch.

When: 10.30am for AGM; 2-5pm for "an afternoon with Meg Warner"
Where: St Margaret's Church, 79-81 Pitt St, Eltham, Victoria
Cost: $15/$12

For more information or to book, contact Kathleen on 9432 9774 or Download flyer [pdf].
Updated 5 August 2011

Vale Patricia Brennan

MOWatch Incorporated mourns the loss of Patricia Brennan. Founding President of MOW (National) Inc. Patricia died on Sunday 6th March 2011.

Patricia was a woman of great energy and breadth of vision. She imagined a different church and worked tirelessly towards it over a number of years. As prophet and our strong campaigner sister Patricia will be much missed by all who knew her.

Our prayers for consolation and hope are with Rob and their family at this time.

MOWatch will establish a tribute and memory book. Please email messages for inclusion to Messages may also be posted to MOWatch President, PO Box 97, North Bendigo, Vic., 3550. All messages will be compiled and presented to Patricia's family.
Updated 7 March 2011

Public lecture by Rev Penny Jones

Rev Penny Jones, Rector of the Anglican parish of Woy Woy in the Diocese of Newcastle, will be giving a free public lecture as part of the Sydney MOW 2010 lecture series. All welcome. 2.30pm at St Luke's Anglican Church Hall, 17 Burton Street, Concord. Street parking is available and afternoon tea will be provided. Download the flyer [in RTF format].
Updated 1 November 2010

Photos from 2010 MOWatch Conference online

Have a look at some great photos from the 2010 Conference taken by MOWatch member Patricia Hayward on Facebook (you don't need to login to Facebook to see them).
Updated 1 November 2010

Public lecture by Dr Marion Maddox in Sydney

Dr Marion Maddox, author of God Under Howard and Director of Macquarie University's Centre for Research on Social Inclusion, will be giving a public lecture titled, "Where has all the passion gone? Women in church and state" at 2.30pm on Saturday 19th June at St Peter's Anglican Church Cremorne, 29 Waters Rd. Street parking is available and afternoon tea will be provided. All welcome. Download the flyer [in Word format].
Updated 14 June 2010

Series of free lectures to be presented by Sydney MOW in 2010

The Sydney Movement for the Ordination of Women is presenting a series of free lectures in 2010. Speakers will be Dr Marion Maddox, Rev Beth Spence, and Rev Penny Jones. Download the programme here [in Word format].
Updated 14 June 2010

Dr Patricia Brennan's speech to the 2009 Sydney MOW Annual General Meeting available to download

Sydney MOW's outgoing convenor Dr Patricia Brennan gave a speech at the 2009 AGM detailing our history and calling us to return to the role of prophets. Download it here [in PDF].
Updated 14 June 2010

Vale Alison Gent

ALISON GENT passed away 13 November 2009. A woman of incredible faith and strength, who became a foundational member of the Movement for the Ordination of Women in Adelaide in 1984. We remember her dedication and pioneering efforts for the equality of women in the Church. With sincere admiration and love from the President and members of MOWatch (formerly the Movement for the Ordination of Women).
Updated 16 November 2009

Updated membership forms - please note new rates

At the MOWatch Inc Annual General Meeting held on 26 August 2008, at the MOWatch Conference in Perth, members agreed that the membership subscription for 2009/2010 be increased as follows:

Full membership: $40.00
Concession membership: $28.00

Download an updated membership form here (includes MOWatch contact list)
Updated 6 May 2009

Exciting news regarding MOWatch members

A few exciting things from the Melbourne Anglican that are of interest to us: Bp Barbara Darling is to be Bishop of the Eastern Region in Melbourne; Morna Sturrock, who is still a member of MOWatch, has won the annual Dame Phyllis Frost Award; and the lovely Sarah Macneil, who spoke at our 2006 conference, is to be the first woman Dean of St Peter's Cathedral, Adelaide!
Updated 5 May 2009

MOWatching archives now online

Recent editions of MOWatching, the magazine of the national Movement for the Ordination of Women, are now available to download in PDF form from the archives. The November 2008 edition has just been published - click here to download.
Updated 24 November 2008

Vale Rev Barbara Pace

We heard the sad news yesterday that Barbara Pace died on 19 November. Barbara was involved in MOW from the early days, and remained a member right up until this year. She was ordained a deacon in Melbourne in 1986, ordained a Priest in Melbourne in 1992 and worked as an Hospital Chaplain. As a deacon Barbara was the first woman to sit in the House of Clergy in the General Synod in the 1980s.

Edited to add: Read an obituary by Dr Janet Scarfe
Updated 22 December 2008

Sydney Synod 2008

It's that time again, and Rev Chris Albany's motion asking the Synod to "explore ways in which different views about women's ordination can be creatively lived out in the life and practice of the diocese" is on the business paper for 4.30pm Tuesday 14 October. MOW members will be there - contact Patricia on 0408 468 433 or Bronislava on 0413 668 916 if you'd like to meet up with us.

I (Bronislava) also have a plan to semi-"live blog" Synod as it goes along, if I can and where it helps rather than hinders my sanity! Check my blog for details, but my views are in no way endorsed by Sydney MOW or MOWatch as a whole. You can also check out the diocese's official Synod website for more info.
Updated 14 October 2008

The end of a "moratorium"

The Committee of the Sydney Movement for the Ordination of Women is planning a prophetic event to mark its founding night that took place outside St Andrews Cathedral at 7:30pm on the 4th October, 1983, 25 years ago.

There will be a meeting in Chapter House (St Andrews Cathedral, next to Sydney Town Hall) on Saturday, 4th October at 7:30pm, 2008 to celebrate the priesting of 633 Australian women and the consecration of two women bishops in dioceses outside of Sydney over the last sixteen years. Meanwhile, the Sydney Diocese has closed its heart and mind to the full range and resources of women's ministry.

Join us on this historic occasion of celebration.
Updated 20 September 2008

Thanks to all who attended and made possible a wonderful conference

Thanks to the conference organising committee in Perth and to the supportive Perth diocese for a wonderful 2008 MOWatch conference! It was a great opportunity to be inspired by our speakers - including Dr Esther Mombo, Dr Jenny Plane Te Paa, Revd Canon Dr Jane Shaw, Rt Revd Kay Goldsworth and Ms Ann Skamp - and each other. The conference website will be kept online for the time being for reference purposes.
Updated 20 September 2008

Esther Mombo to give the 2008 Barry Marshall Memorial Lecture

It's becoming a bit of a tradition - that the keynote speaker of the MOWatch conference also gives that year's Barry Marshall Memorial Lecture. People in Melbourne can hear Dr Esther Mombo give 'An African View on Anglicanism's current troubles' this Wednesday night. Details on the Trinity College website. Jane Shaw's lecture from 2006 on 'Why we shouldn't be embarrassed to call ourselves Christians (but why we might be): a liberal manifesto' is also now available to download [pdf].
Updated 18 August 2008

Conference update

Early bird registration for the 2008 MOWatch Conference closes 25 July. The registration form is now available to download here. See the conference page for more details.
Updated 19 July 2008

Dr Muriel Porter to speak at Sydney MOW Annual General Meeting

Melbourne Church historian Dr Muriel Porter will speak on The Road to Women Bishops in Australia at the AGM and Public Lecture organised by the Sydney branch of MOWatch. Dr Muriel Porter has been closely involved in the acceptance of women in the ordained Anglican ministry in Australia. All welcome!

2-4pm Saturday 5 July 2008
St Luke's Church Hall, 17 Burton St, CONCORD

The agenda will include the AGM and election of officers, future planning, and afternoon tea. Enquiries: 9949 4561 or 9719 9363.
Updated 12 June 2008

Conference flyer now available: download and register now!

Click here to download the brochure for the 2008 MOWatch conference, to be held in Perth from 25-28 August. The theme of the conference is "Women of Faith in Action: Getting on With it!" The conference will feature international speakers as well as workshops and discussion groups. See the conference page for more details.
Updated 13 May 2008

Vale Bishop Owen Dowling

MOWatch is sad to hear that Bishop Owen Dowling, a great supporter of women's ordination, died last night. In the early 1990s, as Bishop in Canberra, he announced he would ordain the first women priests in Australia. The ceremony was to be held in February 1992 but was delayed because of a court injuction attempting to block women's ordination. Bishop Dowling will be missed by us.
Updated 7 May 2008

Another female bishop!

Great news - the second Australian woman bishop has just been announced. Canon Barbara Darling, currently vicar of St James, Dandenong (Victoria), will be consecrated on May 31.
Updated 25 April 2008

Australia's first female Anglican bishop to be consecrated on 22 May

In breaking news, Kay Goldsworthy - who we were honoured to have speak at our last AGM - is to be consecrated as Bishop at St Georges Cathedral, in Perth, next month. Wonderful news! MOWatch congratulates Kay and hopes she won't be the only female Australian Bishop for long.
Updated 11 April 2008

2008 MOWatch AGM with guest speaker The Venerable Kay Goldsworthy

The Annual General Meeting of MOWatch Inc will be held on Saturday 9 February at St Luke's Anglican Church, 11 Stanmore Rd, Enmore, Sydney NSW, commencing at 12 noon with a light buffet luncheon. Limited parking is available in church grounds, and there also in nearby side streets and a public car park on Edgeware Rd.

11.30 am: Registration
12.00 noon: Light Buffet Luncheon
12.15 pm: AGM
1.00 pm: Guest Speaker: "Between Already and Not Yet", The Venerable Kay Goldsworthy, Archdeacon of Perth/Registrar
1.30 pm: Question time
2.00 pm: Conclusion

We hope to see you there!
Updated 4 February 2008

2008 MOWatch Conference announced with keynote speaker Dr Esther Mombo

The 2008 conference of the Movement for the Ordination of Women, MOWatch, will be held from 25-29 August at the Burswood-on-Swan, situated on the banks of the Swan River, with easy access to Perth City. Click here or on the link at the left to express your interest and get all the latest news. After the success of last year's conference, where one highlight was the energy of the women from WA, I think we're all looking forward to this one!
Updated 28 November 2007

2007 General Synod

See pictures and read Judy Little's report!
Updated 10 November 2007

Women bishops now a possibility in the Australian Anglican Church!

We received the news yesterday that the Appellate Tribunal has ruled that there is no legal barrier to women being Diocesan Bishops. Have a look at the media release from the office of the Primate and today's article in the Sydney Morning Herald.
Updated 29 September 2007

Sydney Synod, here we go again

From Elaine Peterson (Sydney MOW Committee member):

"The SMH report of the Sydney Anglican Synod (6th Sept. p.6- Fresh Offensive as Anglicans Fail on Conversions) missed the real reason why this "mission" will fail. A glance at the agenda will reveal a motion towards the end, put forward by two leading members of the diocese - a woman, seconded by a man - whose first clause is :- "Synod a.) affirms that the relationship of loving, sacrificial leadership of a husband and the intelligent, voluntary submission of a wife is the Biblical pattern of marriage and..." Five clauses follow, saying that this belief should not be used to justify domestic violence.

On the principle that if a problem is being discussed, it already exists, the motion actually suggests that the Male Headship theory of Sydney diocese is in fact responsible for some domestic violence. Disapproving noise would be better replaced by a reconsideration of this strange doctrine.

Whether this motion finally is discussed or whether it is amended by deleting the opening clause, and leaving the "motherhood" statement of opposition to domestic violence, is not the point that Sydney Anglicans need to understand. While our church continues to teach that women are subordinate souls, a more enlightened society, built on Christian values, will not flock to join us."
Updated 22 September 2007

AGM of the Sydney branch of the Movement for the Ordination of Women and some news...

The Annual General Meeting of the Sydney branch was held today, and featured a talk from Val Webb, who is promoting her newest book about naming God. Download Christine's Convenors' Report.

We also had an update about what's coming up in the life of the national movement. Firstly, there will be a few MOWatch people attending General Synod in October as "observers", and we hope to have wall space for a display - if anyone is interested in volunteering to help out with this, either for one day or longer, please let us know. We can also try and organise accommodation for you. Secondly, plans are going well for the 2008 MOWatch conference to be held in Perth. The venue has been selected, and the dates are sometime in August. Keep your ears to the ground for details! Also, 2006 conference proceedings are to be published soon and will be sent to all financial members with a letter from Val.
Updated 1 September 2007

Would women bishops be allowed without a change to the constitution? Appellate tribunal hearing begins

A number of people are taking the push for women bishops to the next level by asking the Anglican Church of Australia's Appellate Tribunal whether there are any constitutional barriers, and the hearings were this week (though the Tribunal is expected to take several months before they make a decision). Amazingly, some claim that the word "person" in the constitution means males only, at least when it comes to "who can be a bishop" (presumably not when it comes to the question of "who is a member of the church"!). For more info see the article in the Age or listen to an interview with Muriel Porter on Radio National.
Updated 3 April 2007

Sydney Movement for the Ordination of Women supports Keith Mascord's call for inclusive church

Following various events in the parish of South Sydney, one brave Minister wrote an open letter to the Sydney diocese basically saying that there needs to be more room for diversity. The Sydney branch of MOW supports the points made in his letter - our beliefs often run counter to the dominant theology here, which is strongly opposed to women's ordination (to take just the most obvious point of difference!) Read a modified version of Keith Mascord's open letter to the diocese, and keep visiting this site for updates as we hope to work with others on this issue.
Updated January 2007

Sydney Synod, the pressure is on

Thanks to everyone who joined us at the opening of the 2006 Sydney Synod, where we will be moving that women be allowed to be priests in this diocese, the first time the issue has been on the agenda in 6 years. Peter Jensen's speech demonstrated how women's ordination is somehow threatening to "sexuality" (whose sexuality exactly?). Someone suggested that to ensure sufficient time for debate, our motion be scheduled for 4.30pm next Tuesday. We're looking forward to making our presence felt yet again, so please join us and/or keep us in your prayers on the 24th!
Updated 19 October 2006

Back from Melbourne and ready for action

In August a group from Sydney went to the MOWatch conference in Melbourne. It was a great chance for us to get to know each other and the issues facing the Church at the moment. We returned from our conference with renewed energy, ready for the upcoming Sydney Synod!
Updated 5 September 2006

Conferences and special events archives

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