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Redefining and Reclaiming MINISTRY

Katharine Salmon is a Theology teacher and lecturer in Sheffield, Yorkshire. She was involved in the campaign for women priests and women bishops in the Anglican Church, and is a long-time campaigner for women's ordination in the Roman Catholic Church. She has served on the Boards of Women's Ordination Worldwide and Catholic Women's Ordination. She writes and conducts liturgies for life events. 

Dr Martha Heizer is an educationalist and psychologist at the University of Innsbruck whose special interest is in Feminist Theology.  She was co-founder of the Austrian Kirchenvolks-Begehren, the initiative which led to the establishment of We Are Church and has been Chair of We are Church - Austria since 2014. She and her husband received notice of excommunication from the church from the Archdiocese of Innsbruck, also in 2014.

Kate McElwee MA is Executive Director of the Women’s Ordination Conference, the oldest and largest organisation working to ordain women as deacons, priests, and bishops into an inclusive and accountable Roman Catholic Church.  WOC is a grassroots-driven movement that promotes activism, dialogue, and prayerful witness to call for women’s full equality in the Church.  Kate has an M.A. in International Human Rights from SOAS (London) and is also a member of the leadership circle of Women’s Ordination Worldwide

Diarmuid O’Murchu is a member of the Sacred Heart Missionary Order, a social psychologist, and an author. A graduate of Trinity College, Dublin, most of his working life has been spent in social ministry in London, most recently with homeless people and refugees. His latest book is Doing Theology in an Evolutionary Way. 

Dr Patricia Rumsey is Abbess of a Poor Clare Monastery and has a PhD in Historical Theology.  Her areas of expertise include the history of religious life for women and the history and spirituality of the Franciscan Order. She is the author of Less She Pollute The Sanctuary in which she examines the perception of women in Christianity through the centuries. Unable to attend.

Kathleen Gibbons Shuck serves on the pastoral team at the intentional community of St Mary Magdalene in south-eastern Pennsylvania. She has been a member of Roman Catholic Women Priests (RCWP) since 2015.  Kathleen was previously Director of International Marketing for the Sisters of the Holy Child, raising awareness and funds to build a clinic and organic farm in West Africa. 



Ruby Almeida is a Catholic Indian woman and LGBTQ+ member. Former Media lecturer and Chair of Quest UK, a pastoral support for LGBTQ+ Catholics. Current Co-Chair of Global Network of Rainbow Catholics and founder member of Rainbow Catholics India. Always striving to create strength and unity for the marginalised amongst the marginalised.

Dr Kochurani Abraham is an Indian feminist theologian, researcher, writer, and trainer on issues related to gender, sexuality, spirituality, and ecology. She is currently Vice President of the Indian Theological Association and is active in the Indian Women Theologians' Forum. She is author of Persisting Patriarchy: Intersectionalities, Negotiations, Subversions. 

Dr James Alison is a Catholic theologian, priest, and author. He has a mission to bring the work of French historian and polymath Rene Girard to a wider public.  His books include Faith Beyond Resentment: Fragments Catholic and Gay.  He is known for his pastoral outreach in the LGBTQ+ community.


Dr Nontando Hadebe is a woman theologian based in Johannesburg, South Africa and has recently been appointed as International Cordinator for Side by Side gender justice organization attached to We Will Speak Out South Africa. Her membership includes The Circle of Concerned African Women Theologians, Future Church and Catholic Women Speak/Preach. She hosts a weekly radio program on Radio Veritas; facilitators an ecumenical program with FOCCISA that brings church leaders in dialogues with LGBTQ+ persons. She recently published as co-editor a book entitled A Time like No Other: Covid-19 in Women’s Voices.

Dr Claire Jenkins is a trans woman and convert to the Catholic Church. She was married with four children until in 1999 she transitioned from male to female at 50-years-old. Prior to this Claire was a Deputy Headteacher of a secondary school. In 2013 she was awarded a PhD from the University of Sheffield for her research into the effect of transitioning on the family members of transsexual people. Subsequently she has advised a number of research projects and has spoken at Catholic and university conferences. Currently she actively involved in the pastoral care to LGBTQ+ Catholics where she coordinates a team (lay and ordained) who carry out this important work within her diocese. She also gives ongoing support to LGBTQ+ Moslem asylum seekers and refugees some of whom have become her close friends. Importantly she currently belongs to a small working party who advises the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales about transgender issues. In May 2020 Claire was awarded a Senior Fellowship at Margaret Beaufort Institute, Cambridge where she is researching schools and Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming (TGNC) young people. This work has now been developed into a research project which will take place over the next few years.



Joanna Moorhead was deputy editor of the Catholic Herald 30 years ago and around the same time joined a Catholic feminist group. As a freelance journalist she has written for the major UK newspapers, especially the Guardian and the Observer, as well as writing books. The Surreal Life of Leonora Carrington was recently Book of the Week on BBC R4.  Joanna is Arts Editor of The Tablet, in which last year she wrote an article calling for a synod “that starts with women …….” 

Prof Emerita Tina Beattie is one of the familiar voices on Thought for the Day on BBC Radio 4. She is Emerita Professor of Catholic Studies at the University of Roehampton and an independent researcher and writer.  She is also Director of Catherine of Siena College, an online college based at the University of Roehampton, offering courses in theology, gender and social justice. In addition to her many academic publications, Tina is the author of a novel The Good Priest, and a second novel Between Two Rivers is due for publication later this year. 

Gina Menzies is a B BD from the Milltown Institute with post graduate studies in Feminism and Moral Theology, and a MSc in Ethics and Law from the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin where she currently lectures in Healthcare Ethics.  She served as Chair of the Irish Government Taskforce on Women in Sport and is a frequent guest on the Irish Broadcaster RTE

Thomas O’Loughlin is Professor Emeritus of Historical Theology in the University of Nottingham, and the Director of Studia Traditionis Theologiae.   He is a catholic presbyter in the Arundel and Brighton Diocese. He is a sought-after speaker and the author of Eating Together, Becoming One, and The Rites and Wrongs of Liturgy - Why Good Liturgy Matters. 

Dr John O’Loughlin Kennedy is a retired economist, serial social entrepreneur, and author. His book The Curia is the Pope, examining what he calls the “self-serving bureaucracy that manages the Pope and controls access to him”.  He proposes some remedies for the problems which he says the Church, as currently managed, is chronically unable to deal with. 



Virginia Saldanha is a woman activist, writer and theologian, living in Mumbai, India.  She is the founder member of the Indian Women Theologians Forum and was executive secretary of the Commission for Women in the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India and Secretary of the Asian Bishops’ Conferences Women’s Desk. She has campaigned to bring attention to abuse of women within the Catholic Church.

Dr Luca Badini Confalonieri is director of research at the Wijngaards Institute and has a special interest in the governance of the Roman Catholic Church, and is author of Democracy in the Christian Church - A Historical, Theological and Political Case.  He is also the lead author of the report “Christian Objections to Same Sex Relationships: An Academic Assessment”, and its accompanying “Academic Statement on the Ethics of Free and Faithful Same-Sex Relationships”, launched in May 2021, which have achieved substantial international media coverage.

Rev Anthony Cassidy is Parochial Administrator at St Matthew’s Catholic Church in West Norwood, London. He trained in biblical studies at the Biblical Institute in Rome, although most of his theological studies were in mixed-sex classes at the University of Kent at Canterbury; an experience of education which he says was “not typical of many (or most) of my clerical brethren”.  He has a special interest in ‘creeping infallibility’ something about which he says, “we should all be aware”. 

Christina Rees CBE is a writer, broadcaster, and practical theologian, specialising in women and religion. A lay member of the Church of England’s General Synod for 25 years, she was also a founder member of the Archbishops’ Council, the body that advises the Archbishops of Canterbury and York on matters of policy and resources. She is a school chaplain and will be ordained in September 2021. 

Baroness Helena Kennedy QC is one of Britain’s most distinguished lawyers and a Labour peer, renown for championing civil liberties and promoting human rights.  She has published two books on how the justice system is failing women. Helena is the founding force behind the establishment of the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights at the University of Oxford.  She is currently Director of the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute, directing the Institute’s work in upholding the rule of law and human rights globally. 

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