Church of England Record Society


The Beginning of Women's Ministry.  The Revival of the Deaconess in the Nineteenth-Century Church of England, edited by Henrietta Blackmore.

The revival of religious orders in the mid-nineteenth century opened up a field of ministry for women distinct from previous types of church work, which had been voluntary, part-time, and inevitably limited by the contemporary identification of women with the domestic sphere. The Deaconess Movement posed a threat to the accepted gender order of Victorian society, creating new spheres of activity and roles of authority for women beyond the home.

This volume brings together documents on the Deaconess Movement from a variety of unpublished archives, and provides an introduction to a neglected aspect of women's involvement in official Church ministry through the women's own voices. It illustrates the circumstances which fostered the revival of an ancient order of ministry for women, through the first-hand experience of some of the individuals involved in the early years. Socially divisive and  theologically controversial, the claims of women to be part of an order comparable to that of the male diaconate has formed the basis of their active participation in the ecclesiastical hierarchy right up to the present day.

ISBN: 1 84383 308 5.  Price: 45.00 (members: 25).

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