Opening one of the undergraduate freebies in this University and looking at the pictures in the 'Fashion' section, I found myself saying "I know her!!".
"Her" was the Chaplain of Lincoln College. I knew her because when I was at S Thomas's we went on pilgrimage to Walsingham accompanied by some members of the Mags congregation. She was one of them; she had not yet entered the Anglican Ministry. She was a very bright young woman, good company, who was reading for a doctorate in Tacitus; an obscurely opaque Roman who, I think (I can't be sure about such details), may have written about History. I think, on stylistic grounds, he must have been born in New Zealand.
Many Anglican womenpriests are natural Bergoglians; that is to say, they are not Rigid and Doctrinal and Liturgical. They very often have had no training except in 'Ministerial Training Courses' in which Anglican candidates for Holy Orders are prepared part-time together with aspirants for non-Conformist ministries. These ladies do provide eucharistic services when their deplorably old-fashioned laity expect them, but they really prefer a form of event known as Messy Church. I would love to give you a description of this style of activity, did anautopsia not prevent me. Readers will have fertile enough imaginations ...
But there is a very different type of womanpriest, of which there are several examples in Oxford ... sharp and academically considerable, who never wanted to be foolish folksy creatures like their 'messy' sisters. What they wanted to be was ... Priests.
Such is the lady of whom I speak. In her newspaper Interview, she gives a very sound explanation of the rationale of wearing cassocks (all the time) and vestments and refers always to "saying Mass". And the paper's Fashion Correspondent includes a picture of her vested in red.
Those of you with a sharp eye for liturgical detail would instantly spot that she is wearing ... unlike the Saint in Westminster Cathedral about whom I recently wrote ... a maniple! That is not always an easy thing to do nowadays, because back in the 1960s the then dominant tendenz realised that the obvious way to get the Huddled Masses back into Church was to have bonfires of maniples. This means that, even in churches where the vestments are of respectable material, cut, and design, a 'set' very often lacks its matching maniple. Archaising clergy have to make a real effort to find a spare maniple somewhence with which to 'make up' the sets in their charge. These spares are, naturally, very often not en suite with their stoles and chasubles.
The photographs do not show her wearing a biretta, but ...
I do hope you will not shout at me. In giving you this information, I advance no agenda and certainly not the Ordination of Women. I simply wish to impart anthropological enlightenment.