There has been criticism of a decision to allow only male priests to apply for a job vacancy at a church in Oxford.
The advertisement for a new vicar of St Barnabas and St Paul, with St Thomas the Martyr specifically asks for a male priest, and that has sparked allegations of misogyny and discrimination against women.
However, the diocese concerned says that the church had always had male priests and wanted to continue to do so.
After the decision to allow female ordination was made in the 1990s, provision was also made for people who 'were unable to receive the ministry of women bishops or priests' because of their religious beliefs - to stay within the church by them being allowed to chose male clergy.
In further defence of its position the Diocese of Oxford said that St Barnabas was in the minority of churches to request male-only clergy - and that of its 46 churches only five called for male heads. A spokesperson said that since women were first allowed to be ordained by the Church of England twenty-five years ago, in 1994, a huge number of women had been ordained across the diocese as a whole.