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Book Review
Beneath the Cassock  

Beneath the Cassock: The Real-life Vicar of Dibley

(HarperCollins Publishers, 2002)

Joy Carroll

Review provided by SDC Member Margaret Modra

Joy Carroll Wallis is a gifted communicator, community organizer and convener as well as a sought-after pastor, preacher and minister. In 1994, she was one of the first women to be ordained in the Church of England as well as the youngest clergy member elected to the General Synod. Her ministry in the inner city embraced the needs of the poor, homeless, mentally ill, families, youth and the elderly.  


From a rebellious punk phase to her unexpected calling to the ministry, a prominent involvement in the struggle for the ordination of women, to her "tabloid" wedding, Joy Carroll was one of the first women to be ordained; and was adviser and 'role model' for the TV series, The Vicar of Dibley


Quote from P18 – ‘Later, at theological college, one of the things I learned was that ‘tradition’ is a good thing, but is often misunderstood. Tradition by its very nature changes with time. It’s rather like a river flowing from A to B.  It twists, turns, flows & links us with the past. If our tradition never moves or changes, it will become stagnant & unhealthy.


She now works in the Episcopal Church in the United States of America. She is also the author of  The Woman Behind the Collar: The Pioneering Journey of an Episcopal Priest


“Joy’s driving force is her desire to connect with people, to make lasting bonds and to make a difference. She’s certainly made a difference to my life. Long may she continue to inspire everyone she meets. Go, girlfriend.”
— Dawn French, The Vicar Of Dibley

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