With great sorrow, the death of Canon Patience Purchas is announced.
??Canon Purchas was one of the first women to be ordained as a priest in the Church of England, in 1994, the first year in which this was legally possible. She had a long mininstry before that, though, first as a Deaconess and then as a Deacon.
??With her long experience she contributed in parish ministry, Wheathampstead and as Bishop’s Officer for women, as well as enocuraging new vocations as Assistant and then Associate Director of Ordinands. She aslo held various resposibilities for religious broadcasting on commercial radio stations in the region.
??Canon Purchas was held in deep affection and high regard by many priests and people alike in the Diocese of St Albans and far beyond, reflecting her contribution in the General Synod, especially to advancing the cause of women’s ministry in the Church of England.
??The Bishop of St Albans said: “I share the sadness of so many at the sudden passing of Patience, still burning brightly with passion for Christian ministry, especially for women priests and women bishops. My thoughts and prayers are with her husband Tom and their family at this time. I am grateful for the enormous contribution that she made to our life in the Diocese of St Albans and beyond, the impact of which is still apparent today.”