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The International Anglican Women’s Network (IAWN) elects new Chair and Deputy Chair

Posted on: June 27, 2024 2:45 PM
(Left) Hera Clarke-Dancer from the Province of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia and (right) the Revd Dr Helen Van Koevering from the Episcopal Church
Photo Credit: ACNS

The Revd Dr Helen Van Koevering, a priest in The Episcopal Church (TEC), based in Kentucky, has been elected as Chair of the International Anglican Women’s Network (IAWN). Hera Clarke-Dancer from the Province of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, was elected Deputy Chair.

The Venerable Carol Hughes, Archdeacon of Auckland, steps down as Chair after five years and so does Deputy Chair, the Revd Lizzi Green from the Church of England who will stay on the Steering Group.

Helen said, “As the newly elected Chair of IAWN, I follow some wonderful previous Chairs - Carol and Jenny - who have shown the way to hold and encourage the skills and enthusiasm of the Steering Group members. And we have a strong team of women theologians and practitioners of mission with women around the Communion. I will be very keen to hear and raise up new voices and angles of view on the intergenerational and real experience of women globally. Women hold up half the sky, as I’ve known African women theologians to say. Listening for and learning from women’s faith, hope, resistance and dignity as beloved of God is as vital today for the church and the world as ever.”

The IAWN serves as a global voice of Anglican women, links women from around the world and is an official network of the worldwide Anglican Communion. Its mission statement says: “We are a bold and prophetic voice for all women throughout the Anglican Communion working to uphold the God-given dignity of women and girls, to eradicate gender-based inequality and violence, and to promote just relationships among all people.”

The IAWN Steering Group Committee, met in person for the first time in six years at the Anglican Communion Office in London earlier in June. The Steering Group discussed strategy, the production of resources and the 16 Days of Activism Campaign that takes place at the end of the year.

Mandy Marshall is the Director of Gender Justice, at the Anglican Communion and Anglican Alliance, and said, “It was so encouraging to host the IAWN Steering group recently at the Anglican Communion Office. Sharing our stories together and the pain of working towards bringing gender equality and justice around the Anglican Communion. The International Anglican Women's Network is one of the untapped resources of the Anglican Communion. 

I'm so pleased that Rev Helen has been elected as Chair of IAWN and Hera as Deputy Chair. Both will bring a range of experiences to the roles; Helen from her time in Mozambique as well as a vicar in TEC and Hera from her perspective as an indigenous Moauri in the Province of ANZP. It is so important that the Steering Group reflects the diversity of the Anglican Communion, and this has been achieved with this new group. I look forward to working with and alongside them.” 

The Revd Canon Helen Van Koevering (DMin), currently serves as Rector of St Raphael’s Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Lexington, Kentucky in The Episcopal Church, and in mission & ministry with the Diocese of Niassa (northern Moçambique) 1990-2015. She joined IAWN in 2019.