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Women and Holy Orders, Being the Report of a Commission appointed by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, Contents

Women and Holy Orders

Being the Report of a Commission appointed by
the Archbishops of Canterbury and York
Published by the Church Information Office, London. Dec. 1966


CHAPTER 1 Why has the question been re-opened now? 10
CHAPTER 11 Biblical and historical evidence 12
CHAPTER 111 Psychological and other related considerations 17
CHAPTER 1V Ecumenical considerations 20
CHAPTER V The case against the ordination of women to the priesthood 25
CHAPTER V1 The case for the ordination of women to the priesthood 28
CHAPTER V11 A third view 30
CHAPTER V111 Forms of ministry for women other than the priesthood 32
A note on the Order of Deaconesses 32
APPENDIX 1 Evidence submitted to the Commission 38
APPENDIX 2 Bibliography 40
APPENDIX 3 Supplementary Essays:
A. Psychological considerations, by Robert F. Hobson 45
B. Ecumenical considerations, by G. R. Dunstan 74
C. Why the Christian priesthood is male, by V. A. Demant 96
D. The case for the ordination of women to the priesthood, by Kay M Baxter 115
E. A third view, by Alan Richardson 123
F. Suggestions for a lay ministry, by Alan Richardson 129

Terms of Reference

In November, 1962, the Church Assembly passed the following resolution:

‘ That the Archbishops be asked to appoint a Committee to make a thorough examination of the various reasons for “ the withholding of the ordained and representative priesthood from women ” and to report to the Archbishops.’

In pursuance of this Resolution, the Archbishops appointed the following to serve on a Commission to examine the question of Women and Holy Orders:

The Lord Bishop of Chester (the Right Reverend G. A. Ellison, D.D.) Chairman.

Mrs Kay M. Baxter, M.A., member of the Central Advisory Council for the Ministry and till lately Fellow of Newnham College, Cambridge, and Secretary of the University of Cambridge Women’s Appointments Board.

The Reverend Professor Henry Chadwick, D.D., F.B.A., Regius Professor of Divinity in the University of Oxford.

The Reverend Mother Clare, Dss., C.S.A., M.A.(Lambeth) (resigned owing to ill health November, 1964; died December, 1965).

The Reverend Professor V. A. Demant, D.LITT., Regius Professor of Moral and Pastoral Theology in the University of Oxford.

The Reverend G. R. DUNSTAN, M.A., F.S.A., Minor Canon of Westminster Abbey.

Miss C. P. Goodenough, M.A., S.TH., Assistant to the Diocesan Missioner, Diocese of Southwark (Member of the Commission from December, 1963).

Robert F. Hobson, B.A., M.D., B.CHIR., D.P.M., Physician, The Bethlem Royal Hospital and the Maudsley Hospital, and Lecturer in Psychiatry, University of London.

The Very Reverend Alan Richardson, D.D., Dean of York.

The Very Reverend E. S. Abbott, D.D., K.C.V.O., Dean of Westminster, was an original Member of the Commission but had to resign on doctor’s orders before he had attended any meetings.

The following served as Secretary to the Commission:

The Reverend Canon N. M. Kennaby, M.A. (now Dean of St Albans) (till December, 1963).

The Reverend M. J. Nott, B.D. (now Archdeacon of Maidstone) (1964-5).

Miss G. Cowan, M.A., M.LITT. (1966).

The Commission held fourteen meetings during the period May 1963 to May 1966, one of them a two-day residential meeting at Oxford; the rest were one-day meetings, held in London.

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