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Church of England trains staff to discourage bias against women

by Heather Preston

Church of England staff are being given "unconscious bias training" (UBT) in a bid to see an equal gender split across its leadership by 2030.

Bishop of London Sarah Mullally, hopes the change will cultivate a more diverse range of communication within the church.

Speaking to The Times, Ms Mullally said: 'I certainly think that having women as priests enables different types of conversations that probably wouldn't happen if you're a man. My background as a nurse means people often talk to me in a different way.'

According to Church of England data, the presence of female leaders within the Church has continued to rise in recent years with the number of women in senior leadership positions doubling between 2012 and 2017. 

In November, The Queen's chaplain Rt Reverend Rose Hudson-Wilkin made history when she became the first black female bishop. She was installed as the Bishop of Dover at Canterbury Cathedral on 30th November.

Speaking about her appointment she said: "There is something refreshing about being open to the new things that God has in store - not just for me as a person taking on this new leadership role, but for our diocese as a whole."

2019 also saw Rt Reverend Libby Lane, the first-ever female bishop appointed as the new Bishop of Derby. 

Of the 115 UK bishops within the Anglican Church, currently 25 are women.

In contrast, Pope Francis has reaffirmed that the "door is closed" for female priests within the Catholic church.

Training has begun in Westminster and is set to be delivered as "widely as possible" across the diocese of London.

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