Last Updated on : November 23, 2014

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Women's Hats and Churches
Bro. John Carter,

The Christadelphian
December 1942, page 345



The Archbishops of Canterbury and York have rescinded the rule forbidding women to appear in church bare headed, to meet changing war-time conditions. The special statement issued in connection with this change reads :

The scriptural authority behind this rule is St. Paul's regulation, but this required that they should be veiled.

That has long ago fallen out of use, and, after consultation with the bishops generally, we wish it to be known that no woman or girl should hesitate to enter a church uncovered nor should any objection to their doing so be raised.

The report in the Daily Telegraph adds:

It has been pointed out that St. Paul's injunction that women should cover their heads in a place of worship was made to meet the circumstances of the Church. In pagan Corinth it was considered a mark of loose character for a woman to appear bare-headed in public.

But if Paul's " regulation " (1 Cor. 11:1-16) has had authority until now, what right have the Archbishops to change it? We do not question the implications of the bare head of a woman in Corinth. But Paul relates the matter to deeper principles than the requirements of social propriety in Corinth. He treats the covering of the woman, and the uncovering of the man, as connected with divine appoint !nents at creation. The man is the image and glory of God, but the woman is the glory of the man. The man is not of the woman, but the woman of the man. In this context the variously interpreted allusion "because of the angels" points to the angelic arrangements at the "founda tion of the world" in the sentences upon the transgressors (Gen. 3) In the Edenic decrees the subordinate place of the woman is divinely arranged, and the covering was a sign of this. Women may revolt, but God's arrange ment cannot be overthrown. It belongs to the transitory stage of human lift upon earth, and is inwrought in the nature of things.

In answering those who opposed him Paul said, "If any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God," meaning, in effect, "The matter does not arise in the church of God because sisters would not be affected by Corinthian customs. It is not necessary to discuss it."

Discerning women will remember that Paul was the Lord's ambassador, and will keep the ordinances he delivered to the churches, and will not be carried away by modern disregard of Paul's authority and teaching.

Let us not have contention and let us also say, "We have no such custom."


Contents--Head Coverings for Sisters
The Hats of Christadelphian Sisters - A Biblical Consideration, Ron Abel spacer A response to "The Headcovering of Sisters: by Bro. David Murphy
"Let Her Be Covered", C.C. Walker, The Christadelphian, Feb. 1, 1900   Women's Hats and Churches, Bro. John Carter, The Christadelphian, December 1942, page 345
Headcovering: Letter to the Editor, The Christadelphians Magazine, Aug. 1983 Bro. Dennis and Sis. Iris Adey   Headcovering: Letter to the Editor, The Christadelphians Magazine, July 1983, Sis. Iris Clarke
The Headcoverings of Sisters   Does Bro. Roberts Give Sound Advice On The Headcovering Question in 1 Cor. 11?