Responsive image
Nederlands/Vlaams Deutsch Francais English language Spanish language Portuguese language Catalan Chinese Czech Malayalam Finnish Igbo
Japanese Korean Romanian Malay language Norwegian Swedish Polish Swahili Chichewa Tagalog Urdu
Chronology of Major Anglican Documents and actions Concerning Women in Holy Orders, 1862 - 1972. Appendix A . In 'Women Priests: Yes or No?' By Emily C. Hewitt and Suzanne R. Hiatt

Chronology of Major Anglican Documents
and actions Concerning Women in Holy Orders, 1862 - 1972

Appendix A . In Women Priests: Yes or No?
By Emily C. Hewitt & Suzanne R. Hiatt, Seabury Press, New York, 1973, pp.102-104 .

(Documents and actions of the Episcopal Church in the United States are designated with an asterisk.)

1862 Ancient order of deaconesses restored in Anglicanism when Bishop of London orders a deaconess with the laying on of hands.

* 1885, 1887 Bishops of Alabama and New York order deaconesses with the laying on of hands.

* 1889 General Convention authorizes the “setting apart” of deaconesses by canon.

1919 The Ministry of Women, report of a commission appointed by the Archbishop of Canterbury to reconsider the office of deaconess, published in England.

1920 Lambeth Conference (the regular meeting of all Anglican bishops held every ten years) resolves that “ordination of a deaconess confers on her holy orders:”

1930 Lambeth Conference withdraws the assertion that deaconesses are in Holy Orders.

1935 Report of a commission on the ministry of women appointed by Canterbury and York, published in England. Finds no compelling theological reasons for or against the ordination of women, but affirms the male priesthood “for the Church to-day.”

1944 Bishop R. O. Hall of Hong Kong ordains the Rev. Li Tim Oi to the priesthood. Canterbury and York repudiate the ordination and the Rev. Li Tim Oi resigns her orders.

1948 Lambeth Conference denies Hong Kong’s request for permission to order women as priests on an experimental basis, on the grounds that “the time has not come” to consider the matter. Lambeth urges renewed emphasis on the role and work of deaconesses. General Convention (St. Louis) changes the wording in the canon on deaconesses to read “ordered” rather than “appointed” and to allow the marriage of deaconesses.

*1965 Acting on the basis of the 1964 canon change, the Rt. Rev. James Pike, Bishop of California, recognizes Deaconess Phyliss Edwards as a deacon by virtue of her prior ordination as a deaconess. In a ceremony in San Francisco, he confers on her the New Testament and stole, historic marks of the diaconate.

* 1966 House of Bishops receives preliminary report it commissioned in 1965 on “The Proper Place of Women in the Ministry of the Church.” The House of Bishops recommends that the Lambeth Conference of 1968 study the question of the ordination of women to the priesthood.

1968 Lambeth Conference refers question of the ordination of women to the priesthood back to the provinces of world Anglicanism for further study. Lambeth endorses principle that deaconesses are within the diaconate. Anglican churches (e.g., Hong Kong, Kenya, Korea, Canada) begin ordaining women to the diaconate.

* 1969 Special General Convention (South Bend) changes canon so that women may be licensed to be lay readers and to administer the chalice.

*1970 Joint Commission on Ordained and Licensed Ministries reports to General Convention (Houston) and recommends that all orders of ministry-diaconate, priesthood, episcopacy be opened to women immediately. Report rejected by narrow margin in the clergy order in the House of Deputies.

* 1970 Triennial Meeting of Episcopal Church Women (Houston) considers the report of the joint Commission on Ordained and Licensed Ministries and votes to endorse the report by a margin of 222-45.

*1970 General Convention (Houston) declares deaconesses to be within the diaconate. Convention changes canon on deaconesses to permit women to be ordained deacons under the same regulations as men.

1971 Anglican Consultative Council (world Anglican body of clergy and laity meeting between Lambeth Conferences) declares that it “will be acceptable” if a bishop ordains women priests with the approval of his Province (or Synod, in the case of Hong Kong).

1971 The Rt. Rev. Gilbert Baker, Bishop of Hong Kong, with the approval of his Synod and having been told by the Council of Southeast Asia that the Council had no jurisdiction in the matter, ordains two women deacons, the Rev. Jane Hwang and the Rev. Joyce Bennett, to the priesthood.

*1971 The House of Bishops, having put the question of the ordination of women on the agenda of its meeting, refers the matter to a committee of bishops for further study.

*1972 Various dioceses prepare resolutions for the 1973 General Convention, urging the ordination of women to the priesthood. Other question.dioceses resolve to study the question.

Contents of “Women Priests: Yes or No ?” Support our campaign Sitemap Contemporary theologians Join Campaign activities Go back to home page

Wijngaards Institute for Catholic ResearchThis website is maintained by the Wijngaards Institute for Catholic Research.

The Institute is known for issuing academic reports and statements on relevant issues in the Church. These have included scholars' declarations on the need of collegiality in the exercise of church authority, on the ethics of using contraceptives in marriage and the urgency of re-instating the sacramental diaconate of women.

Visit also our websites:Women Deacons, The Body is Sacred and Mystery and Beyond.

You are welcome to use our material. However: maintaining this site costs money. We are a Charity and work mainly with volunteers, but we find it difficult to pay our overheads.

Visitors to our website since January 2014.
Pop-up names are online now.

The number is indicative, but incomplete. For full details click on cross icon at bottom right.

Please, support our campaign
for women priests
Join our Women Priests' Mailing List
for occasional newsletters:
An email will be immediately sent to you
requesting your confirmation.