Women's Work

A celebration marking more than 100 year since the induction of England's first woman minister on 29 September 1904

'There is no work in the world, except perhaps the slaughtering of other people, that a woman cannot do as efficiently as a man if she is given the same training and opportunity'

Gertrude von Petzold (1876-1952) England's first woman minister.

There have been women ministers in England since the 18 century, all the early ones being Quakers such as Grace Hall (1676-1762). Unitarians had a female lay-preacher at least as early as 1873 when Annie Rollinson of Hunslet, Leeds, took monthly services on behalf of the West Riding Unitarian Missionary Society at Elland near Halifax.

But Gertrude von Petzold was the first woman actually to train as a minister in England and the year 2004 marks the centenary of her appointment as minister of the Free Christian Church (Unitarian), Leicester.

2004 is also the tenth anniversary of the ordination of women as priests in the Church of England. There have been women ministers in the Congregational church for the past 87 years and in the British Methodist church for 34 years.

The 20 century saw the entry of women into many other professional spheres.

Suggestion for collective worship in a primary school

A prayer for women's fulfilment

Another prayer

Readings from the Christian scriptures

A hymn celebrating the centenary of Gertrude von Pezold

Words for reflection by Gertrude von Petzold

About Gertrude von Petzold

Readings from sermons by Gertrude von Petzold

Some reflections of a woman minister

Women ministers in the Christian scriptures

Cliff Reed on Biblical precedents for women's ministry

Cliff Reed on later precedents for women's ministry,

Women pioneers in many fields

Topics for discussion

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