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A new look for female clergy

by Hannah Tooley

Collared boutique has created a range especially for female priests.

Revd Sandra Sykes and her friend Mandy Strevens as well as their daughters Sarah and Melissa have set up the idea thought to be Britians first clergy fashion brand.

Revd Sandra Sykes became a priest in her 60's and serves as a curate in the villages of Great and Little Leighs in Essex.

According to The Telegraph the vicar was preparing for her ordination two years ago when she became fed up with the lack of suitable clothing options.

Her friends Ms Strevens had previously owned a fashion shop in Yorkshire, and the pair founded Collared.

It specialises in day-to-day clothes for female clergy.

It has already received positive feedback from Gogglebox TV star Revd Kate Bottley.

The Church of England canons have clear rules on what clergy should wear whilst conducting services, however there are no strict guidelines on everyday wear.

Ms Syks said: "It's a common problem for female clergy just finding something where you don't feel as if you're a man in drag basically.

"Just trying to squeeze curves into a man's shirt doesn't really work.

"Women have been in ministry a long time now - 25 years but there's nothing out there that recognises and celebrates the fact that women are in ministry, that we are feminine and not some pretend man."

The company has created a range of dresses and tops which incorporate space for a dog collar.

Mandy Strevens said: "They don't want to look like men, the want colour, they want variety."

The pair said they had also received inquiries from men asking whether they created colourful wear for male clergy too.

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