International Women’s Day 2018

I have been reflecting on Multitude of Voyce’s second service for International Women’s Day in association with St. Thomas’s Church last week. I am grateful for the trust of the Rector, Kelvin Inglis and his ministry team and also the wider support of Salisbury Diocese and Sarum College. The commitment and gifts of two local schools; St. Edmund’s Girl’s School whose pupils Lydia, Hannah & Abbie from Garrett House wrote the speech ‘Throw Like A Girl” with the generous support of Rev’d Dr. Anna Claar Thomasson Rosingh from Sarum College and Godolphin School and their superb Godolphin Vocal Ensemble who sang so beautifully showing off their award winning expertise with grace. Then there’s musicians and composers Olivia Sparkhall, Katie Salomon (Harp), Chris Guild, Delores Dufner OSB, Rachel Hewitt, Hilary Campbell, Mary Hammond, Ute Schwarting (Organ) Jean Holloway, June Nixon, Henrietta Renié, Jeanne Demessieux, Karin Högheilm all present in either voice, word or performance. Historian Alison Daniells (lovely to hear the sound of Middle English). Readers Kate Price, Helen Inglis, Ute, Louise and Mike O’Connell. Rev’d Ana Gobledale with her passionate homily and microphonic interpolations!

Louise Stewart (the green fuse that drives the flower) together with the Rev’d Wendy Cooper and myself have invested our combined grit, prayers and vision with many hours of considered thought and reaching out for the guidance of others and I continue to be amazed how our three different backgrounds, meld so fluidly. Thank you to all those wonderful people currently supporting MoV to achieve it’s vision.

I haven’t mentioned everyone but am so delighted that this brief hour and a half service was the collective effort of over fifty women and girls plus a handful of wonderful men and that it blazed the light of many talented, courageous and groundbreaking women.

On the night people who attended did so against a disturbing backdrop of international espionage and chemical hazard. People always say why do Women need #IWD ? I would say because we are still struggling for a collective voice, for control over our own bodies, for parity of pay, recognition and often, acceptance. As Louise Stewart writes “How shall our hearts be fully opened, how shall our sight be bright and clear? Faith is our candle in the darkness. Faith, love and friendship brought us here”.

Top image – the Rev’d Ana Gobledale lights votive candles to reflect the light of all women

Bottom image: Music Sheet

All photographs taken by Charlotte Mortimer-Talman, March 08 2018

2 Comments for “International Women’s Day 2018”


Thank you for this lovely article, Juliet! Each year the creation of this International Women’s Day service challenges us to think, talk and work together on a theme and I am constantly energised and uplifted by what we are able to create together!
Next year ‘Love’ in all its forms. I look forward to learning more about the expression of love in all its female forms in the Bible and to researching hymns with the hope of finding that one ‘spark’ which has passed by the editors of our more male-orientated hymnbooks!



Louise your ability to seek out new perspectives and highlight the so far, shaded arena of women’s liturgical music is inspiring. I too, am excited for next year.