It was a real privilege to be invited to join the 'panel' at this conference, and to sit alongside women of faith, grace, love and service. In this photo we span over five decades in age, reflecting the incredible diversity of women who serve our Baptist churches in these islands. (All speakers had their photos and details on public websites, so it's OK to share their faces here).
Some statistics from BUGB...
Currently around 15% of all fully accredited ministers are women (up from 5% when I began training, so it's tripled in the last two decades) - which means around 300 of us
Currently, if you add in those who are Newly Accredited Ministers (NAMs) that rises to 20%... suggesting a huge rise in the number of women coming into ministry. That suggests there could be around 100 women in the first three years of ordained ministry.
And if you add the number of Ministers in Training (MITs) that rises again to 30%... (I'm not sure if that is 30% of MITs or 30% of the total) so must mean hundreds more women coming through.
Numbers aren't the whole story, of course they aren't. It's 'calling' not gender, age, theology or anything else that matters. But how good that more and more women are now exercising their God-given gifts and calls in (at least some parts of) the Baptist world.