Dean's disgust at anger over woman priest

SEXUAL equality has not come easily to the hallowed halls of St Paul's Cathedral. "Along the way there has been pain ... pain for everyone," admitted its dean, the Very Reverend Dr John Moses, for the first time yesterday.

He has weathered stormy seas since he invited a female minor canon into the ranks of St Paul's two years ago. And for many, the Reverend Lucy Winkett has come to symbolise the bitter feud over ordination which has recently divided the Church of England.

Traditionalists, furious that a woman priest should be welcomed into the fold of a such a high-profile place of worship, have vented their anger, and while outsiders have sent"crazy" hate-mail, insiders have threatened to walk out.

Throughout the turmoil in the cathedral, the dean has stood unflinchingly at the helm, in support of the 31-year-old Rev Winkett, saying she is an "outstanding" candidate who has his staff "united" behind her.

Yesterday, however, Dr Moses, 61, admitted there had been a lot of "pain", and he had been "shocked and saddened" at the vociferous opposition.

Tomorrow night Rev Winkett's pain will be laid bare as viewers of the BBC2 documentary St Paul's see her break down in tears. The young priest's obvious enthusiasm upon her five-year appointment to St Paul's has been eroded.

The cause was clear. Dissenters had stayed away to make their opposition obvious - a group of London diocesan clergy were noticeably absent at the cathedral's tercentenary celebrations. And colleagueshad voiced their displeasure; two senior colleagues, including Canon John Halliburton, had not accepted her authority, and, at one point, her staff servers refused to celebrate the Eucharist with her. "I don't want to be in this cathedral," she says in the documentary, "but I have to carry on." The programme was filmed over two years and runs to three 50-minute, fly-on-the-wall episodes.

Senior members of the London diocese have also opened criticised the dean. Dr Moses is adamant, however, that he was not playing "gender politics" when he appointed Rev Winkett - she was the best of 16 candidates, he says.

Publicly the dean has been careful to emphasise his respect for both camps in the battle of ordination, insisting they can "live together". But many felt he had nailed his colours to the mast by appointing Rev Winkett within months of taking over as dean. "I did not expect such controversy. Women had been appointed to more senior roles in other cathedrals," he says.

Since the first women were ordained five years ago, 2,000 have joined their ranks. A dozen have taken up cathedral positions and almost 800 are in charge of parishes.

But, in the minds of many, St Paul's was unique. "For some time she was in an isolated position in the sense that she was the first woman priest at St Paul's," says the dean. Of the harsh attacks, he says they "saddened and shocked" him. "It would even sadden those opposed to the ordination of woman - like John Halliburton. I find such intransigence and fundamentalism very sad."

But he adds: "It was a difficult struggle at the beginning but it is quite different now. Things have changed out of all recognition. It's all water under the bridge. Everyone holds Lucy in very, very high regard. She has won over their respect because of her own innate qualities as a person and a priest."

Rev Winkett's aim, she says, is to forge links with the opposing camps. And over time, she has developed a strong, respectful relationship with her main opponent, Canon Halliburton, who, in turn, has attempted conciliation.

"We could all go into our own corners and dab our brows and feel sorry for ourselves. But that's building walls, not breaking them down," she said.

Dr Moses, however, believes it will take some time and patience to break down the fundamentalist side.

"The vast majority of those opposed to the ministry of women have become more vociferous and entrenched with time," he explains. "It is something we must cope with - and it will not disappear overnight. It is something which will take a generation or two."

But he has one simple, forceful message for the opposition. "There's no turning back now."

Sport
footballLIVE City face Stoke, while Warnock returns to Palace dugout
Life and Style
3D printed bump keys can access almost any lock
gadgets + echSoftware needs photo of lock and not much more
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Inside the gallery at Frederick Bremer School in Walthamstow
tvSimon Usborne goes behind the scenes to watch the latest series
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Life and Style
Silvia says of her famous creation: 'I never stopped wearing it. Because I like to wear things when they are off the radar'
fashionThe fashion house celebrated fifteen years of the punchy pouch with a weighty tome
Arts and Entertainment
Gregg Wallace in Summer's Supermarket Secrets
tv All of this year's 15 contestants have now been named
News
i100Steve Carell selling chicken, Tina Fey selling saving accounts and Steve Colbert selling, um...
Life and Style
A picture taken on January 12, 2011 shows sex shops at the Paris district of Pigalle.
newsThe industry's trade body issued the moratorium on Friday
Arts and Entertainment
Could we see Iain back in the Bake Off tent next week?
tv Contestant teased Newsnight viewers on potential reappearance
News
i100
News
The slice of Prince Charles and Princess Diana's wedding cake and the original box from 29 July 1981
newsPiece of Charles and Diana's wedding cake sold at auction in US
Voices
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012
film Cara Delevingne 'in talks' to star in Zoolander sequel
Sport
Mario Balotelli pictured in his Liverpool shirt for the first time
football
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

C# .NET Web Developer (ASP.NET, JavaScript, jQuery, XML, XLST)

£40000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# .NET Web De...

Clinical Negligence Solicitor

Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: HAMPSHIRE MARKET TOWN - A highly attr...

Network Engineer (CCNP, CCNA, Linux, OSPF, BGP, Multicast, WAN)

£35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Network Engineer (CCNP, CCNA, Linux, OSPF,...

Commercial Property Solicitor - Bristol

Highly Attractive Package: Austen Lloyd: A VERY HIGH QUALITY FIRM A high qual...

Day In a Page

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone