Dr. Nicola Slee

2009 Distinguished Academic Visitor

Dr. Nicola Slee

Dr. Nicola Slee is Research Fellow and Team Leader for the MA in Applied Theological Studies at the Queen’s Foundation for Ecumenical Theological Education, Birmingham, UK.

She is well-known as a feminist theologian and poet, and has authored and edited many articles and books since the early 1980s, including Faith and Feminism: An Introduction to Christian Feminist Theology (DLT, 2003), Women’s Faith Development: Patterns and Processes (Ashgate, 2004), Praying Like a Woman (SPCK, 2004) and The Book of Mary (SPCK, 2007).

While at Vaughan Park Nicola worked on two book projects: first, she continued working on a series of poems and prose reflections entitled In Search of the Risen Christa, focused around the figure of the female Christ (a recurring motif in recent feminist theologies); second, Nicola did background research and reading for a text on feminist theology that she has been commissioned to write for the SCM series of Core Texts, with an accompanying Reader.

Nicola used the time at Vaughan Park for her own spiritual refreshment and to stand back from her personal and professional life and seek a new perspective to nourish her for the next phase of life and ministry.

Preface from Seeking the Risen CHRISTA
New release, available from www.spckpublishing.co.uk

I was fortunate enough to be awarded a research scholarship at Vaughan Park Anglican Retreat Centre, Long Bay, one of the lovely beach suburbs of Auckland.  I owe a very special debt to all the staff at Vaughan Park, and most particularly to John Fairbrother, the Director, and his wife Margaret, for their generous Kiwi hospitality. 

Vaughan Park is not only a beautiful place to set down for a while, with the beach and parkland right on one's doorstep, but a place of wide and inclusive welcome, of liberality of mind and heart, renewal, healing and vitality, where I was encouraged to relish my freedom and inhabit the space in whatever way was good for me. 

I was nourished and held by a rhythm of daily prayer and regular eucharistic worship from the New Zealand Prayer Book, as well as by excellent food and free-flowing New Zealand wines, and above all, by the loving friendship I received from the community.  I enjoyed many stimulating conversations about the project - and much more besides - with John and Margaret and others, and had a number of opportunities for trying out some of the poems in this book with the worshipping community.