WOW 2005 Programme Outline

Women’s Ordination Worldwide (WOW)

WOW Origins and Organisation

Women’s Ordination Worldwide was founded at the 1st European Women’s Synod in Gmunden, Austria, in July 1996. It formed part of many resolutions that were passed at the end of the conference, which was attended by over one thousand women from all Christian denominations and other faiths. The vision of WOW is all encompassing. It seeks to include all Christian denominations in every part of the globe.

The ecumenical and worldwide aims are to pray, reflect, educate and help women develop relevant forms of Christian ministry according to the traditions, personal calling and the prevalent culture of their times. It was WOW’s aim to listen to women as they explore new ways of ministry, including but not exclusively ordination to the diaconate and to the priesthood. In the initial stages of this organisation most of the groups have been Roman Catholic but all these groups have always included women and men of other Christian denominations.


The coordinating group for this new venture rotates from country to country more or less every two years.

1996 - 1998 Women’s Ordination Conference (WOC) USA
1998 - 2001 Catholic Women’s Ordination (CWO) Britain
2001 ( 6 months) Brothers And Sisters In Christ (BASIC) Ireland
2002 - 2003 We Are Church (WAC) Austria
2004 - 2005 Catholic Network for Women’s Equality (CANWE) Canada
2006 - 2007 Catholic Women’s Ordination (CWO) Britain

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