As part of the celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the ordination of women to the priesthood in our diocese, Rev Annette Cater, a Priest Associate in the Parish of Tawa-Linden, has created a new cope to recognise women’s leadership. It will be held at Wellington Cathedral of St Paul and any woman – lay or ordained – who is leading at a significant event will be entitled to wear it.
The cope was worn by Bishop Penny Jamieson at the celebration service held at St James Lower Hutt on 2nd December. During that service, people were invited to bring a button for each woman of significance that they wanted to acknowledge. These buttons will be sewn on to the cope over the next few months. Given the overwhelming response to this – (there are a lot of buttons!) – Annette is planning to host a couple of informal events in the new year to sew buttons and share more stories about the women these buttons signify.
Annette shares: “I wanted to create a vestment specifically designed for women. My mother, Jill Cater, donated all the purple silk that it is made of. She has been making church vestments for decades, and this silk is the scraps from many stoles, chasubles and altar frontals over the years. I sewed it together in the weeks leading up to the 40th anniversary.”
Annette tells us that the cope itself is shorter to allow for height differences. An additional piece will be added to the bottom so that it can be buttoned on and off if a taller woman wishes to wear it. The back piece will eventually have a painted icon of Mary Magdelene, written by the Co-Vicar of St Peter’s on Willis Street, Rev Jean Malcolm.