Minding The Gap Research Project

Women in the church:Experiences, barriers and hopes

The Minding the Gap research was conducted by the Sophia Network. The survey, which ran between May and June 2017, was shared through online platforms including Sophia Network’s e-newsletter and social media channels. In total, the online survey received 1,211 respondents. Qualitative and quantitative analysis was carried out by Ros Walley and Sophia Network chair, Vicky Thompson.

Women make up around 65% of the UK Church. But who are these women? What are the unique issues they face in church spaces? Where are they finding space to flourish, and how is the relationship between men and women in Church? We often hear stories of when things aren’t quite going right – where women’s experiences of Church are found wanting, where their gifts and talents are not recognised. But what is the true picture? The aim in launching the research project was to ascertain what is really going on under the surface in terms of gender equality within the Church and based on the findings devise a way forward. Because we exist to empower and equip women in leadership, and to champion the full equality of women and men in the Church.

Our hope and prayer is that this Minding the Gap report will provide a useful tool to pave a way forward towards the full equality of men and women in the Church for the sake of the gospel.

Download the research booklet


The Minding The Gap Manifesto


We believe that women, as well as men, have inherent value and dignity because they are made in the image of God.


We will call out everyday sexism in our church wherever it takes place and challenge each other to do better.


We will work hard to ensure that no woman in our congregation feels 'less than' just because she is a woman.


We strive for fair representation of both men and women preaching God's Word in our pulpit.


We will tell stories of the female heroes of the faith - Bible characters, theologians and church leaders - to provide our congregation with a holistic picture of the Kingdom of God.


We will encourage women in our church to step up into positions of leadership.


We will be intentional about putting place training, equipping and mentoring for those women who feel called to lead in our church.


We will commit to championing the full equality of men and women working together for the sake of the gospel.