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3 - Elsie Begins Her Ministry, 1939

Alan Argent
Affiliation:
Trinity Congregational Church, Brixton
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Summary

In her last year at King's, immediately prior to sitting her final examinations, Elsie had attended a conference, at which the Revd Muriel Paulden, herself a Congregational minister, had given a memorable address. She was immediately drawn to Miss Paulden and to her commitment and vision of selfless ministry. Preparing for her finals, as she then was, Elsie must have known that her natural strengths did not lie in academic study. Muriel Paulden's vision seemed to offer Elsie an exciting future and perhaps an alternative route to ministry from that of further study at Oxford. After her examinations, in the summer of 1939, she knew even more that her gifts were not those of the scholarly minister or university lecturer which Mansfield College, especially under Micklem, was increasingly producing. She would not prosper in the rarefied atmosphere which Mansfield could offer and, even in Oxford, she would stand out as a woman training for the Christian ministry. Had King's, London, sufficiently satisfied her appetite for theological learning so that a move to Mansfield, or to any other of the colleges serving the Congregational Union of England and Wales, would now be unwelcome?

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Chapter
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Elsie Chamberlain
The Independent Life of a Woman Minister
, pp. 29 - 39
Publisher: Acumen Publishing
Print publication year: 2012

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