Tuesday, 5 October 2010

The case of the disappearing banners

People often don't get it...but we had a wonderful funeral today. Pioneer feminist and Movement for the Ordination of Women (MOW) member, Alder Hall.
She was one of a fascinating group of driven women who were the stalwarts who kept up the battle for the ordination of women to thge priesthood in the Anglican Church.
The banner to the left is one of a series made over a number of years for the group who would gather at our cathedral after ordinations to protest at the refusal of our church to ordain women to the priesthood. It took 25 years or more of hard plugging for our church to get around to it.
Alder was a key mover in this.
We wondered where they might be as it would be good to display them for the service today. Any way we tracked them down (not me really) and found a whole array of them.
The first comment of many members was ..."We wondered where they were" and then "We think there are 8" and we only had three or four.
Any way by the time we talked it through we thought we tracked them all down.
Alder's sewing skills are phenomenal. Not the typical image of a strident feminist.
Yet I think the lovely Alder did not want to become a man and stop doing traditionally womanly things, she wanted equality for all. Men and women.
Her needlework is a significant reminder of craft giftedness. She was also one of great humility, compassion and erudition. She was persistent and tenacious

My friend and colleague Joan Claring-Bould who is the chaplain at the Women and Children’s Hospital sent me an email yesterday to say she could not be here. She said of Alder: Alder was a prophet of reconciliation, justice and peace. Her gracious and tenacious support for the Ordination of Women in this diocese and the Australian Church, along with Alison Gent and others, should never be forgotten by the women clergy of the diocese. I hope some day we will find a way of making sure her memory lives on in the history, present and future of this diocese.

I agree and I know many others will too

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