Fonds F2336 - Carolyn Purden fonds

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Reference code



Carolyn Purden fonds


  • 1968-1993 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

20 cm of textual records

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Carolyn Purden, reporter, editor and communications consultant, was born in 1941 in Solihull, Warwickshire, England, to Patrick and Irene Purden, and has a younger sister Christine. She came to Canada in 1952 and attended Havergal College from 1954 to 1959. She then attended Trinity College, graduating in 1962. She was married to David Greenwood from 1964 to 1973, and to the Rev. Tom Anthony from 1973 to 1980. She has two children, Stephen born in 1976 and Jennifer born in 1979.

As a reporter with the Canadian Churchman, Purden attended the 1968 Lambeth Conference where the ordination of women as deacons was debated. She became a strong advocate of women’s ordination issues through feature articles and editorials. Rising through the ranks at the Canadian Churchman, she covered the issue of women’s ordination as it was debated at the church’s triennial General Synod, National Executive Council (the predecessor of the Council of General Synod), and Canadian diocesan synods. She attended the Church of England General Synod, and other international Anglican gatherings, to cover their debates on the ordination of women. She interviewed archbishops, bishops, and a number of women who felt their vocation as priests had been denied them. In 1974 she attended the irregular ordination of the ‘Philadelphia Eleven’ and reported first hand on that event and its prolonged legal and theological aftermath in the Episcopal Church. She wrote on the subject of ordination to the priesthood for several overseas publications. After Canada began ordaining women as priests, she covered the issue of women in the episcopacy up to and including the ordination of Canada’s first woman bishop, Victoria Matthews.
In 1971 Purden accompanied Rev. Donald Clark, The Anglican Church of Canada’s Asia secretary, on an eight-week trip around the world, visiting Ethiopia, India, Myanmar, Thailand, Hong Kong, Japan and Okinawa. Mr. Clark was visiting Anglican Church-supported projects to review their work. Purden’s assignment was to cover Mr. Clark’s meetings and to visit other relief projects throughout the region.

Carolyn Purden is the president of Purden Communications, a corporate communications consulting service, in Toronto.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Material in this fonds was a gift from the creator.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Fonds contains files created by Carolyn Purden to support her writing about the ordination of women as priests within the Anglican Community worldwide. Documents include her correspondence, notes, interview transcripts, and draft articles. Also included are publications, press releases and reports from the Anglican and Episcopal Churches, and clippings from newspapers and magazines.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


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Original order has been maintained

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Conditions governing reproduction

Various copyright holders. It is the researcher's responsibility to obtain permission to publish any part of the fonds.

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Dates of creation revision deletion



  • English



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