I have recently been attending District Zoom meetings about Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in our churches.
Last Saturday I attended Synod and when it was over, I made my way over to a friend to make travel arrangements for a meeting in London. She was already talking to someone so I awaited my turn to speak to her. We had just begun our conversation when a minister cut across us and began a conversation with my friend. I wasn’t best pleased but I waited until he had finished and then tried to resume our conversation. I had no sooner opened my mouth to speak when a second minister cut across our conversation. Again, I waited until he had finished and tried again. Would you believe it – a third man came and did exactly the same thing! By this time, I had had enough. ‘Excuse me’, I said, very politely, ‘but I am trying to have a conversation with my friend and while I have been stood here, three men have interrupted our conversation.’
He looked at me and said, ‘Oh, I was the third man, wasn’t I!’ I nodded and told him that I was flying the flag for gender equality. He then turned to my friend and resumed his conversation again – and then he hesitated and said:
‘I’ve done it again, haven’t I?’ To cover his embarrassment, he turned the subject to MWiB.
Have you noticed this kind of behaviour happening in your church or church meetings? We need to challenge this behaviour, politely but firmly. If we do not, we have only ourselves to blame when we are side-lined.
On a positive note, this does not apply to all men; some are very courteous and treat us as equals. Let’s get the message across – women are just as important as men and see if we can make a difference to the attitudes in our churches!