God should be a SHE: Church of England’s female priests call to end ‘male imagery’

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An pressure group called Watch, or Women and the Church, wants to stop what it believes is sexist language and male imagery in services.

Watch member Emma Percy issued a statement saying using He for the Divine meant women say themselves as ‘less holy’.

“When we used only male language we reinforce the idea that God is like a man and, in doing so, suggest that men are therefore more like God than women.

“If we take seriously the idea that men and women are made in the image of God both male and female language should be used.”

Watch chairman Hilary Cotton saif that the issue had been discussed at a high level within the Anglican church, and the church was working towards a more feminised liturgy.

She said: “We are at a very preliminary stage in terms of shifting the language of of worship.

“The question of how might we rewrite the worship services of the church of England in a way that broadens our understanding and perception of God is a really difficult question per which we will wrestle for a number of years to come.

“This has arisen now in part because of the change in gender culture but actually it has emerged at all sorts of points in Christian history.”

Ms Cotton said the concept of God being male stemmed from the Church’s early history in Rome.

The Church of England took on its first ever woman bishop when Libby Lane was consecrated Bishop of Stockport earlier this year.

A spokesman for the Church said: “Any change in the formal liturgy of the Church of England would require consent, revision and final approval of the General Synod.

“Even prior to that point, there would need to be substantial consultation with the Liturgical Commission.”

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