[EVENT] Gathering of Women Leaders #GWLOct18

I wasn’t able to make it to London for the latest Gathering of Women Leaders. I always find it so encouraging and inspiring, so I’m glad to be able to catch up via tweets (around 65):

Photo from Sally Hunter


[LIFE] It’s #IWD2018, and I’m so excited to see @Project328 and #MindingtheGap18 Launched Today

I loved seeing this campaign on Facebook, although as always don’t read below the line!

So, I’m really excited to see a couple of initiatives from the church being launched today:

Project 3:28 Database

For years I’ve been asked to speak, or recommend other speakers for events, and we started off a simple Excel spreadsheet (not specifically for women). In the meantime Gathering of Women Leaders was continuing it’s excellent work (next one 17th March, near Monument station in London), including seeking to understand the barriers to women in leadership, which includes women as experts and speakers.

I was involved in early conversations about the database, but when Project 3:28 took off with it’s ‘simple’ challenge to gender imbalance within the church, notably counting and reporting on the gender imbalance at Christian conferences and events (as work out by volunteers working their way through programmes). The group’s impact has already been felt, but one of the complaints was that it was ‘difficult’ to find women speakers with the right expertise … so this database has been in the works for the last couple of years. I’ve been one fo the testers on the project, and really excited to see it finally come into being today at

Beautifully designed by David Bunce, the database is very simple to use, whether you are searching for a speaker (yes, you will need to set up a simple log-in), or whether you are putting forward information about yourself as a speaker. Searching for a speaker produces a random generation of names (so different names will come up each time), which can then be filtered by keyword, subject, or conference/media experience:

Once you’ve found someone who looks interesting/in your range of topics click on ‘View Profile’ at the bottom of the box, and get something like mine (in which I specify the kind of topics I can speak on, the kind of media/conference experience I have, my social media connections, a bio-summary that can be used in programmes, and then links to external links):

We suggested to users that they link to e.g. a YouTube video. As someone who has helped arrange conferences, we typically go and look online at speakers that we don’t really know to see the kind of style, and whether it’s a good fit for the type of event that we’re running!

I’m really looking forward to seeing this make a difference. It’s very easy to become a ‘name on the conference circuit’, and this should be great for introducing some new names. We had conversations about whether this should just be for women, but that’s where there’s an identified need within church culture, where the funding and volunteer hours have come from. There is an expectation that the system that has been built could be white-labelled for other similar databases in future.

Minding The Gap 2018

Gathering of Women Leaders emerged partly in conjunction with the Sophia Network, and so this report, based on over 1,000 responses earlier this year looks at the following: “Women make up around 65% of the UK Church. But who are these women? What are the unique issues they face in church spaces? Where are they finding space to flourish, and how is the relationship between men and women in Church? In our work at the Sophia Network, we often hear stories of when things aren’t quite going right – where women’s experiences of Church are found wanting, where their gifts and talents are not recognised. But what is the true picture?”

The Minding The Gap 2018 report gives some insights into this, using qualitative and quantitative research:

Other Things?

I’m sure there’s been other excellent reports and initiatives, meantime, I’m going to finish with shoutouts to YBCN, UK Breast Cancer Support Group, Beyond Chocolate, and #WIASN – all most definitely not church initiatives, but lifelines in various ways this – and past – years.

Media & Press Media - Audio

[INTERVIEWED] Women and Technology in the Church

I was interviewed by Oladokun Damilola, an MMU student who was pulling together material for her Masters dissertation in multimedia journalism. Great to share online space with @digitalnun again. My segment starts:


You can listen, and read more insights on Oladokun’s website.


[WRITER] Day by Day With God @BRFOnline

This arrived this morning, via a little tour to the CODEC offices in Durham, and my new next door neighbour nicely took the parcel in:


I remember ‘gulping’ somewhat when given Genesis to focus upon for late August for these daily Bible readings, but plenty of notice was given, so plenty of time to think and pray it over … with the majority of the actual writing done on a train to/from the 2015 Spring Harvest if I remember rightly!

Day by Day with God is published by the Bible Reading Fellowship, seeking to find culturally relevant but theologically sound ways of engaging with the world, and developing discipleship through active Bible reading.

Ali Herbert is the editor for this edition, and my fellow writers are Katy Jack, Chine Mbubaegbu, Sandra Wheatley, Alison Teale, Rosemary Green (husband Michael), Ann Warren, Ali Herbert, Michele Morrison and Amy Boucher Pye.


[STORIFY] Collected tweets from #GWLMar16

I’ve taken out the spam, otherwise it’s simply a reverse chronological order of tweets from yesterday’s Gathering of Women Leaders: