Papers of Dorothea Edith Belfield

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The archive consists of a certificate of appointment as Deaconess in the Parishes of Mere with West Knoyle in the County of Wiltshire and Diocese of Salisbury, 30 Jan 1933; correspondence with the Diocesan Registry, Salisbury to Deaconess Belfield; copy of her Assent to the 39 Articles, Jan 1937; press cutting relating to Dorothea Belfield's status and office and to the debate bout the status, role and office of deaconess, as opposed to deacon, within the Church.

Administrative / Biographical History

Dorothea Edith Belfield (fl.1933-1940) was admitted to the order of deaconess in 1933 and appointed to the Parish of Mere (Diocese of Salisbury) in Feb 1933. She was known as the Rev. Deaconess Belfield. Information extracted from Mere parish magazines indicates that while the Order of Deaconess was recognised in 1920, the office was still contentious. In May 1934 Dorothea was on a month's sick leave. She left the parish in Jan 1935. Her health had not, apparently, been good. She worked unpaid and had anticipated staying for two years and then moving on to work of 'wider scope'. She was hard working and conscientious. Her vicar was the Rev. Ian Cameron. Dorothea Belfield published pamphlets in the 1940's for the London Society for the Equal Ministry of Men and Women in the Church. Little information on her has been traced.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is available for research. Readers are advised to contact The Women's Library in advance of their first visit.

Acquisition Information

Unknown: 'Found among pamphlets being listed', Mar 1973; rediscovered amongst 'unsorted archival miscellany' during the Library move, 2002 and formally accessioned, Jul 2003.

Other Finding Aids

Fonds Description (1 folder only)

Related Material

The Women's Library holds Autograph Letters 9/06/177 and 9/06/202 concerning Dorothea Edith Belfield. The Women's Library holds the Records of the Anglican Group for the Ordination of Women to the Historic Ministry of the Church (5AGO); the Records of the Society for the Ministry of Women in the Church (5SMW); Records of the Movement for the Ordination of Women (6MOW); the Papers of Dorothea Edith Belfield (7DEB); the Papers of Ursula Roberts Women (7URO), including correspondence from her work for 5AGO; the Papers of Everild Feeny (7EMF); the Papers of Mairin Valdez (7MAV); and the Papers of Victoria Lidiard (7VLI).

There are also some press cuttings (c.1919-1950) in The Printed Collections.