From Kim Hartshorne
Sir, - I am writing to question the assertion made by Canon
Angela Tilby regarding the attire of women "conservative
Evangelicals", whom she describes as wearing "high heels, low-cut
tops, and short skirts (preferably leather)" (Comment, 20 February).
She says this is "observable", but fails to say where or when
this was seen, how the tradition the women belonged to was
identifiable, and what relevance or importance should be ascribed
to their clothing.
I am familiar with many churches in this tradition in the
Anglican Church, and I would suggest in fact that modesty is a
usual feature of dress among people in them, stemming from
particular theological perspectives. In other Evangelical
traditions such as Pentecostalism, bright and modern clothing is
often worn, owing to emphasis on different theological
My main point, however, would be that it would perhaps be
advantageous to other women in the Church if, as a senior
churchwoman and potential role-model, Canon Tilby endorsed women's
right to wear whatever they chose, without snide condemnation, and
regardless of the tradition to which they might belong.
(Pioneer ordinand in the diocese of Gloucester, and leader of
The Upper Room Community)
37a Market Place
Cirencester GL7 2NX