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Project Violet

Over the last three years, Project Violet has investigated women’s experiences in ministry and developed the participating women ministers. Named after Violet Hedger, the first Baptist woman to be college trained for ordination, the project finished it’s research phase in May 2024 and has published a number of requests for change based on the research findings.

From a church perspective, there are seven requests for change that are directed at local churches. These are summarised below, with more detail available on the Project Violet Website and more specifically in the Project Violet report for local churches. Baptist churches are being asked to prayerfully consider these requests and to decide what we are able to commit to. It is requested that we then complete a form around this and return it to the project by the end of September 2024.

  • Make opportunities to listen to new voices
    Women are not all the same and so it is important that a variety of women’s voices are heard in church life.
  • Local churches make their position on women’s ministry known prior to settlement (the process for appointing a new minister)
    Women ministers can find it difficult to know which churches would welcome their ministry when they are applying to be a minister.
  • Role models
    Seeing women minister helps other women hear the call of God.
  • Developing slow wisdom in the local church meeting
    Churches are invited to reflect upon the way in which they conduct their church meetings so that they focus on discerning the mind of Christ.
  • Training in advocacy
    Challenging unhelpful language and behaviour as it happens stops patterns of sexism developing. Training will be offered to ministers and others wanting to increase their confidence in doing this.
  • A theology of disability that enables local churches to reflect upon their practice
    Reflecting on what we believe about disability can help us think about how we wish to include people with a disability in our church.
  • Use resources that reflect the diversity of Baptist life
    Ensuring that the resources we use – such as posters, PowerPoints, and newsletters – reflect the diversity of people involved in Baptist life.

The plan is for us as a church to discuss these points at the next church meeting on June 23rd to agree the church’s position on each of the requests for change. As a side note, it should be recognised that Lavendon Baptist is already active on several of these points.

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