• 1 Ordination of Women by the Anglican Church

    Women had long played active roles within the Anglican Church of Canada prior to the Church’s ordination of female priests. Especially after the Second World War, a plethora of local women’s groups were formed in parishes throughout the country. Influenced by the burgeoning women’s rights movement, the Anglican Church of Canada began to rethink the nature of its Church structures during the 1960s. Many within the Church wanted to move toward a Church model that would see men and women working together and include women as full and equal partners in all levels of ecclesiastical life. This sentiment was echoed by many within the worldwide Anglican Communion and, at the 1968 Lambeth Conference, bishops from around the world supported the ordination of women to the diaconate. This position was officially adopted by the Anglican Church of Canada the following year. In 1975, after much debate and consultation the General Synod of the Church of Canada passed resolutions allowing the ordination of women to the priesthood. On November 30, 1976 six women were ordained priests of the Anglican Church of Canada. Three of these ordinations occurred in Ontario: Rev. Mary Mills at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London and Revs. Mary Lucas and Beverley Shanley at Grace Church in St. Catharines.

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