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Discrete CollectionsThe Women's Library
TitleRecords of the Anglican Group for the Ordination of Women to the Historic Ministry of the Church
Ref No5AGO
Box Fetch NoBox FL556-Box FL557
LevelCollection
Date1928-1978
Extent2 A boxes
Admin Biographical HistoryThe Anglican Group for the Ordination of Women (1930-1978) began after a call for evidence on women and the ministry went out as in the run up to the Lambeth Conference of Anglican Bishops in 1930. Its immediate stated aim was: 1) to give effect to the injunction of the Archbishop of Canterbury that the church should be provided with material "which would compel the serious consideration of [the ordination of women] in a manner worthy of its importance" and 2) to provide opportunities of contact for women who believe themselves called to the ministry. However, the working group's evidence was rejected by the Conference. Consequently, the ad hoc group was re-established as an ongoing organisation from 1931. Their subsequent aims, as outlined in 1935, were: 1) To uphold the Christian principle of spiritual equality between men and women; 2) to draw attention to the growing need for the admission of women to the [...] ministry of the Church and 3) to bring together and support those women who believe themselves to be called to holy orders. At this point, as throughout its existence, the group was solely concerned with the ordination of women in the Church of England, although later they would work with other non-denominational groups such as the Society for the Ministry of Women in the Church. Membership of the organisation was open to all baptised Anglicans over the age of 18 and it was financed by donation rather than by subscription. Business and policy making was in the hands of the Annual General Meeting, where the annual report was received and officers and the Executive Committee elected (the first annual meeting was held Mar 1933). The group held intermittent public meetings throughout the 1930s and went into complete abeyance during the Second World War. The first post-war AGM was held in 1946 but the organisation's impetus had dissipated and only three general meetings were held between 1949 and 1957. During the early part of the Fifties, the organisation abstained from any activity that might create a debate on the issue of the ordination of women in the Church of England, confining their work to research and education. However, the outcome of this, in 1955, was the submission of a report that recommended that women should be allowed to conduct statutory services (though not communion). The church once more rejected this in May 1956 and this rejection led to a resurgence of activity, as the group began to publicise its existence through letters to the Times newspaper. The following year the constitution was changed once again. This time its objectives were 1) to secure ordination of women to all orders of the Church of England; 2) promote equality between men and women in the offices and the affairs of the Anglican Church; 3) assist women in theological study and 4) to undertake all lawful activities to promote the previous points. Throughout the 1960s their efforts were concentrated on raising awareness of the issue in the media through contacts with the press and publications of titles such as Women's Work in the Church of England. However, the organisation was finally wound up in the mid-1970s.
DescriptionThe archive consists of minutes of annual meetings (1933-1969) and of Executive Committee Meetings (1954-1975), press cuttings (1928-1978), papers and memoranda (1932-1968).
Related MaterialThe Women's Library also holds:
Records of the Catholic Women's Ordination (5RCW)
Records of the Society for the Ministry of Women in the Church (5SMW)
Records of Women Word Spirit (5WWS)
Records of the Movement for the Ordination of Women (6MOW)
Records of the Group for Rescinding the Act of Synod (GRAS)
Papers of Agnes Maude Royden (7AMR)
Papers of Dorothea Edith Belfield (7DEB)
Papers of Everild Feeny (7EMF)
Papers of Olwen Smith (7OLS)
Papers of Ursula Roberts (7URO)
Papers of Vivienne Lake (7VEL)
Papers of Victoria Lidiard (7VLI)
Papers of Patricia Pinkerton (PINKERTON)
The Women's Library printed collection also holds periodicals for the relevant organisations search LSE 'LibrarySearch'. There are also UDC press cuttings (c.1919-1950).
Related Record5SMW
6MOW
7EMF
7URO
7MAV
7VLI
7DEB
GRAS
Access StatusOpen
Access ConditionsThis collection is available for research. Readers are advised to contact The Women's Library @ LSE in advance of their first visit.
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