We Won’t Apologize for Being an All-Female Clergy
This Easter will be especially significant for one of England’s cathedrals.
Leicester Cathedral will be marking the Christian festival with what it believes is England’s first fully-female clergy team at the helm.
The five women – including the acting dean, Reverend Canon Karen Rooms – were appointed from 2013 onwards.
The move is the latest in a tradition of female firsts at the cathedral which, in 1974, was the first to admit girls into its choir and, in 2000, Vivienne Faull – now the Bishop of Bristol – was the first female cathedral dean.
So what is it like to be part of the cathedral’s progressive history?
“The church has had centuries of being all-male; why shouldn’t we be all-female?”
Canon Pastor Rev Canon Alison Adams, 71, is a former teacher who has previously worked in schools in Leicester and Nottinghamshire.
She went on to manage the chaplaincy in Glen Parva Young Offenders’ Institution before coming to Leicester Cathedral in 2013.
“I make no apology for us being all-female,” she said.
“I fully respect those who have different theologies from mine but I don’t respect misogyny when I encounter it and I think it’s good that we are seen publicly in these roles.”
As the first of the women to join the cathedral’s team, she said she had welcomed being joined by four others.
“It’s great fun,” she said.
“We get on, we bounce off one other very easily and I think we’re all by nature networking, relational-type people.
“It’s good company.”