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Janet Wootton (b. 1952)
Writing has been a lifelong passion for Janet Wootton, from academic books and articles to worship material, poems and hymnody. Her hymns are widely represented in denominational collections, and as a mentor as generous with her time as with her gifts, she has encouraged and nurtured the talent of many other writers, through her work since 1993 as editor of Worship Live and, since 2003, as Director of Learning for the Congregational Federation.
Born in 1952, she heard the call to ministry aged 13, during a sermon given by her lay-preacher father, a calling she approached by way of a firstclass honours degree in Classics (Greats) at St Hilda’s College, Oxford, and studies at Oxford’s Mansfield College. Her PhD from King’s College, London, compared John Scotus Eriugena with Alfred North Whitehead. Matching academic achievement with practical accomplishment, she was for seventeen years minister of Islington’s Union Chapel, a remarkable Victorian building which under her dynamic stewardship was transformed into a wide-ranging community and arts space.
Janet Wootton has travelled widely as President of the Congregational Federation and Moderator of the Churches’ Commission on Mission and of the International Congregational Federation. She has also chaired various committees on mission, worship development and community development. She was founder-co-chair of the International Congregational Theological Commission, which, among other things, publishes the International Congregational Journal. As well as editing the ICJ, Janet is on the editorial team for the journal Feminist Theology, and has been involved in the production of various hymn resources, including Hymns & Psalms, Reflecting Praise and Peculiar Honours.