​Centenary of Women’s Suffrage

We take for granted our right to vote in national and local elections, whether we choose
to exercise our democratic right or not. A hundred years ago, only property-owning men
could do this. 

The Representation of the People Act of 1918 enabled all men over twenty-one, and
8.5 million of the 15 million women of Britain to vote, as long as they were over the age
of thirty and owned property. Full parity for women came only in 1928. 

Many people think that the campaign for women’s right to vote began with the
suffragettes of the 20th century, but it began much earlier. Groups of women and
men lobbied Parliament, spoke at public meetings, and raised awareness of injustice
throughout the 19th century. 

One such group was the Church League for Women’s Suffrage. The Worcester branch
was led by a cathedral canon, James Maurice Wilson, who ran meetings from his home
with his wife, Georgina. The Dean of Worcester, William Moore Ede and his wife Sarah
were also active members, as was the Bishop. 

The Church League shunned violent protest, but,
by connecting equality with Christian principle,
added to the tide of opinion that made the 1918
Act inevitable. 

O God, the light of the nations,
we thank you for all who strive for justice and

challenge our complacency.

Grant that we may use our voices and our votes for the good

of all people,

and that our faithfulness to your all-embracing love may be known

not just in our words, but also in our deeds.

Through Jesus Christ, our hope and salvation. Amen. 

Evesham Deanery – Rural Dean: Richard Thorniley; Lay Chair: Liz Booth 

Church of the Province of South East Asia: Archbishop Ng Moon Hing 

Diocese of Portsmouth: Bishop Christopher Foster 

Diocese of Stockholm (Sweden): Bishop Eva Brunne

About Diocese of Worcester - Prayer diary

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