Below is my response to the incredible project undertaken by students at Ripon College Cuddesdon – collecting and collating the experiences of women leaders in church – entitled ‘Eva’s Call’



Here are the voices

Here are the stories


I’m not sure what’s worse

Reading them

Or not being at all surprised by reading them.

Dripping with the vile bile of misogyny



Faux charming


That witty take down only formed days later, when the moment has passed.


So you don’t accept the patriarchal narrative?

But here it is

In all its repugnant glory


A litany of offense,

A liturgy of immense, overwhelming, crushing weight;



The belief that we are not real

Like some fictitious unicorn, we are make-believe

‘Have you seen the lady priest? The pseudo-priest?

Situated between Father Christmas and the Easter Bunny

Funny, you thought you were called by God?’

And yet, for make believe characters, our physicality is oh so threatening.

Our blood is impurity

Contaminating the elements

Hell bent on ruining your worship.


We are the dismissed

The misheard

The ‘speak up we can’t hear you’

We are the objects of others’ desires

The subjects of physical critique

The too feisty, too meek.

We are the bad mothers, absent mothers, shouldn’t be, couldn’t be mothers, neglectful, too attentive mothers.

We are the sexualised,




We are the second-rate, second-class

Don’t ask people to sit through our leading of worship

Feel free to leave if our vaginas offend you.

We are the unbiblical

Unbelievable heretics.



We are the brave

The called

The faithful.

We are the fighters

The dreamers

Who scheme for another way of being

Hoping for the flourishing of all

Carving a way for the future.


We will resist,

Insist on being heard

Because, nevertheless

She persisted.


2 thoughts on “Nevertheless

Add yours

  1. Thanks for the latest poem Ruth … I hadn’t seen the artwork “Eva’s Call” until now, so I just looked it up. I read through the whole list of quotes with such a heavy heart! I am saddened, shocked and outraged that people in the church still feel its OK to belittle, disparage, discriminate against, insult and abuse women who are made in the image of God. Whatever someone’s theological convictions, there is no excuse for that sort of practice! God help us to love one another and challenge those within the church who think it doesn’t apply to them.

    Liked by 1 person

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