My History with the Anglican Church
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As a Deaconess
Visitor No. 3906

My training for a Deaconess was in Melbourne, with my first Parish being at Smithton on the North West of Tasmania. I served there for three years before commencing the Mobile Ministry for five and a half years. This was moving around Tasmania, helping out in various parishes wherever there was a need. Sometimes it was caring for the parish when there was not a Rector. It was a good way for me to see our beautiful scenery we have in Tasmania . This took me to 24 different parishes. The last being Flinders Island (in between Tasmania and Australia)

Before being ordained as a Deaconess, I was called Sister Elvie. ( I think it had a nice ring to it) My ordaination as a Deaconess was on St. Barnabas Day 11th June 1971 while serving at Deloraine.

Made a Deacon
In 1986 while ministering on Flinders Island, it was agreed that women could be made  Deacons, so on St. Mathias Day, February 24th 1986, I was ordained with two other women - Rosemary Perrott and Marie Kingston.  
The photo is at the gates of St. Alban's Church, Whitemark,  Flinders Island

Quite a lot of debate followed as to whether women could be ordained priests or not, but in 1992 it was allowed in most Diocese in Australia and Tasmania was one of them. Sydney and Ballarat still do not have women Priests.

As a Priest

St. Thomas Day, 21st December 1992 was the historic service in a crowded St. David's Cathedral, Hobart. At the usual ordination for the Diocese, six women were ordained Priests, as well as men.  
There was a protest by those who objected, but it was not upheld.
It was a wonderful uplifting service with people letting their balloons go up to the ceiling because they were so happy.
I was ministering at Oatland and after the ordination was made the Rector of the parish.
Rosemary Perrott-Russell and myself were ordained as a Deacon and a Priest at the same service and we walked down the aisle together.
I have the honour of being the first Tasmanian born female to be made a Deacon, to be ordained a Priest and made a Rector.


To see a list of where I have preached

Highlights of my Ministry

  • Being Ordained as a Deaconess.
  • Five and a half years in the Mobile Ministry, Nine years on Flinders Island.
  • Being made a Deacon.
  • Being Ordained a Priest.
  • First celebration of the Eucharist the day after being ordained. Television was there and the Parish of St. Peters Oatlands, gave a big party afterwards. Most of my family were there and my niece from Wangaratta served for me.
  • For three and a half years, I was in charge of the Parish of Swansea. It is the only co operating parish with the Anglican and Uniting Church in Tasmania. That was a new and exciting experience for me.
    This was my last parish in the full time ministry.
  • Celebrating 20 years of Ordination in St. David's Cathedral on 21st December 2012. There were about 100 people there to help celebrate the occasion. Rosemary, Honor and myself each gave a short talk on what Ordination meant to us. Some of my family went to Hobart for the occasion.
    To see Rosemary's Ministry


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    Link to the Diocese of Tasmania
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