Sarah Schofield

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Department of Theology and Religion
Doctoral researcher

Contact details

PhD title: Female priests in the Church of England, flourishing and diminishment. How has the experience of the first generation of ‘normally' ordained female priests been shaped by the institutional culture of the Church of England?
Supervisors: Dr Isabel Wollaston, Dr Amy Daughton, Dr Deryn Guest
PhD Theology and Religion


  • BA Theology (Manchester)
  • PG Cert. Transformative Leadership (Newman)
  • M.Phil Theology (Birmingham)


Currently Lead Chaplain for the University of Wolverhampton. Ordained in the Church of England in 1997, parish priest in Manchester and Wolverhampton for 21 years.


My aim is to understand an apparent contradiction in the Church of England’s reception of female priests. Whilst women have been ordained as priests since 1994 this is within a framework that sanctions exclusion at the request of fellow Anglicans who continue to be opposed to women’s ordination. How has this partial affirmation been experienced by ordained women?

Using interview data I illustrate the variety of ways in which women theologically analyse the context they are in, consider who benefits from restrictions on women’s ministry and at what cost to ordained women. Finally, I consider what institutional factors inspired and sustain restrictions on women’s ministry despite the consecration of women as bishops from 2014.

Other activities

Member of the Church of England’s Faith and Order Commission (until 2022)