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A nice grey cardigan is more like it, perhaps

by
27 February 2015

iStock

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 perspectives.

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.

Kim Hartshorne
(Pioneer ordinand in the diocese of Gloucester, and leader of The Upper Room Community)
37a Market Place
Cirencester GL7 2NX

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