This for Wednesday Write-in #66
Civvies or clerical, she pondered as she studied herself in the full-length mirror in the cramped bathroom of the vicarage. Only three weeks since her final ordination by a very reluctant Bishop Simpson and only a week since she had moved into the vicarage as priest of the Gentle-cum-Loxham parish.
She had made it against all the odds. As had the other four women at the Theological College. Only five women in a class of seventy eight! And how the College had resented enrolling them! And how the College had made things as difficult as possible for them! Especially the Chair of Governors who coincidentally happened to be Bishop Simpson.
But the women had stuck together – they called themselves the Sisters United – had fought the prejudices, had survived the prejudices, and had taken strength from the prejudices. And in their shared experience, their solidarity, their sorority, they had reinterpreted the teachings and the texts and slowly arrived at the point at which they saw themselves at odds with the accepted dogmas and doctrines of the established Church.
And their attempts to raise their concerns and discuss their doubts were brushed aside by their tutors, male clerics one and all, who sneered, trotted out accusations of feminine clap-trap, made references to liturgical traditions and canon law, and suggested extended periods of meditation, contemplation and self-flagellation to help cure themselves of their near-heretical thoughts. But the Sisters knew: God was on their side.
And this night, as her unpracticed fingers struggled to insert the dog collar into her clerical blouse, would be their first reunion: the Sisters United reunited. And all five united by what they would be saying to Bishop Simpson in a few hours time.
All five united by a determination to promote a new doctrine, a new approach to spirituality, to an understanding of who and why we are. All five armed to the teeth.
And God was on their side.