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.