For God so loved the world, that they gave the world their only begotten son.” If that sounds odd to you, get used to it. God should no longer always be called a ‘He’, says the Church of England’s first female diocesan bishop, Rev Rachel Treweel. “I don’t want young girls or young boys to hear us constantly refer to God as he,” the Bishop of Gloucester told the Sunday Telegraph. “Whether it’s that you go to a website and you see pictures of all-white people, or whether you go to a website and see the use of ‘he’ when we could use God, all of those things are giving subconscious messages to people.

“I am very hot about saying we can always look at what we are communicating.” Other female church leaders backed the trailblazer, who made history in 2015 when she was ordained the Bishop of Gloucester. “When I lead prayers or preach, I try to get around the problem by using both male and female imagery, and also by avoiding the need to say ‘his’ or ‘him’ too often,” sad Rev Jo Bailey Wells, the Bishop of Dorking. The Sunday Telegraph says research has found nearly half of 18- to 24-year-old Christians in the UK believe God is male, but only one-in-three over-65s. READ MORE