A couple of interesting (to me, anyway) observations from yesterday's training.
We were asked to reflect on the women who have influenced us along the way...and I was struck by the indirect, almost negative influences which were as strong as the positive ones for me.
Most notably, my beloved mother was an invalid throughout my childhood...so she tended to do very little. I, though being very like her in many ways, struggle instead with the need to do EVERYTHING....as if I have to live my life twice over in compensation for all the things she was never strong enough to achieve.
A colleague and friend who is rather younger than me found the whole question of attention to gender issues and our unspoken focus on the stained glass ceiling very very irritating...whereas those of us who spent the first part of our adult lives in a church that did not ordain women had a very different approach...even if we in no way considered ourselves to be ardent feminists.
For her, inclusive language and opportunities to spend time as women together were very much non issues....As we drove home, we concluded that although we are ministering only a few miles apart in a diocese that does a great deal to encourage and promote women's ministry, my view was conditioned both by my awareness of the contest going on around me 18 years ago and also (this one surprised me) by the fact that 25 years ago I was one of only the 2nd year of women undergraduates at my Cambridge college. Even though I was barely aware of that, those 3 years of pioneering must have left an inerasible mark, which just isn't there for the next generation, praise be.