Mystics, Theologians & God-Botherers: Patricia Brennan


Sunday 7 March 6.00-8.00pm (Queensland Time)

Patricia Brennan – prophet, medical doctor, forensic physician,

missionary, wife, mother, grandmother, television presenter,

poet, sculptor. Her vision to expose and reform injustice to

women in the Anglican Church inspired her to establish the

National Movement for the Ordination of Women in the

Australian Anglican Church (MOW). She became a public figure

and a spokesperson for that movement. But as she said, “Don’t

confuse the role of a prophet with that of a spokesperson for a

group. A passion for speaking against injustice comes from the

viscera as much as the mind and therefore the prophetic voice

is not necessarily the most reasonable or the most measured of

voices. The prophet may be a vulnerable, troubled individual,

prone to self-doubt”. As her successor, Dr Janet Scarfe,

President of MOW said, more than any other single individual

she put the ordination of women on the agenda of the Anglican

Church and kept it there in full public view.

Patricia shone a clear light into dark, unvisited places. She

did stir up and disturb the comfortably churched.

She was deeply compassionate, and tended to those who were distressed

and harmed by the Church and its leaders, sometimes in cruel ways.

Dr Gwenneth Roberts is an Anglican laywoman,

member of St John’s Cathedral community, initiator and original co-convenor

of the Brisbane Diocese Movement for the Ordination of Women

in the Australian Anglican Church in 1984. She is a Mother of six children,

a former nurse and midwife, childbirth educator, and facilitator of post-breast

cancer exercise and information programs.

Of recent years Gwenneth pursued an academic career, with her research

on the presentation of victims of domestic violence at the

Emergency Department, Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital.

She was also involved in extensive research on domestic violence

in Anglican, Uniting Church and Catholic Churches in the 1990s

with Queensland Churches Together. She is currently researching the history

of Anglican women in the Brisbane Diocese since the 19th century,

for presentation in the Exhibition of Anglican Women’s History at

St John’s Cathedral and online in 2021.

This event will be held in person in the Cathedral, and over YouTube and Zoom.

Evensong will be in person at 6pm in the Cathedral and will also be accessible

at 6pm on our YouTube channel:

Gwenneth will give her address as part of Evensong.

If planning to attend in person,

please preregister at

From 7pm we will join together in person in the Cathedral

and via Zoom for Q&A with Gwenneth. To join via Zoom,

use either:

Zoom link… (video/audio)

your phone – (07) 3185 3730, enter Meeting ID: 768 010 419#,

Passcode: 267366# and then Participant ID: #.


St John's Cathedral Brisbane newsletter
Author: Gwenneth Roberts