She has her own theory on this: ‘There is that perception that religion is in a box with everything middle-aged and that everything else is in another box; or (as far as the clergy goes) that God is interested only in middle-aged men.But it would be unfair to suggest that Rev Hitchiner became a priest simply because she thought wearing a dog collar might make her look groovy.

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An interesting poser has been exercising the Reverend Sally Hitchiner over the past week.

She has posted several tweets on her Twitter page — where she describes herself as an ‘Anglican priest, faith adviser, broadcaster...

and finder of funny things’ — on the subject of ‘the theology of fashion’.

So we shouldn’t be too surprised then, that this weekend, the 32-year-old Church of England vicar took her theological studies even further forward, posing for a fashion shoot for a Saturday broadsheet magazine under the headline: The Vicar Wears Prada.

This prompted a response from one internet blogger who might be said to represent the ‘traditionalists’ within the Church of England.‘This is the sort of spectacle traditional Anglicans feared when they allowed the ordination of women,’ the blogger wrote.

‘We wouldn’t expect a policewoman to accessorise her uniform like this — nor do her hair up like she’s off to a ball.

When she left last June, parishioners held a ‘Mad Hatters’ Tea Party’ in her honour to say goodbye.

By her own account, she was brought up in Toxteth, Liverpool, the eldest of three daughters born to middle-class Christian parents who hoped to make ‘a difference’ to the then troubled neighbourhood in a way they believed the Anglican Church had failed to do. ‘I recognised aspects of me: I felt like I was looking at somebody else’s holiday snaps and looking at places that I had been.’ Precisely what she means by this is not entirely clear. It was during this time that she decided to become a priest.

And I’m very happy with the way things are.’Over the past few months, Rev Hitchiner’s profile has grown as she has appeared on various programmes on television to discuss the issue of women bishops.

During one interview on breakfast TV last month she wore her pretty tiara clip in her hair.

After agreeing to ordain women priests back in 1994, it has taken until now for the vote for women bishops to take place.