Anglican priest the Rev Emma Percy thinks that calling God “he” or “him” is sexist and makes women feel “less holy”. The chaplain is part of Watch (Women and the Church), which campaigns for gender equality.
Does it really matter?
Ms Percy says: “When we use only male language for God we reinforce the idea that God is like a man and, in doing so, suggest that men are more like God than women. If we take the idea that men and women are made in the image of God, both male and female language should be used.”
What has the response been?
Watch chairman Hilary Cotton says the issue has been discussed within the Church and that they are working towards a more “feminised liturgy”. She said: “We are at a preliminary stage in terms of shifting the language of worship.” Precisely what changes can be made “is a really difficult question with which we will wrestle for years to come”, she said. The Rev Kate Bottley, who features on Channel 4’s Gogglebox, said that she and other vicars have been dropping “he” and “him” in sermons.
Is it likely to catch on?
The Church of England says that if vicars are serious about starting to call God a woman, they need to submit proposals outlining their case to be signed off by the General Synod.