Mrs Clarice Morgan: 1919-2014
Clarice Morgan died 22 February this year (2014), aged 95. She was married to the late Revd Cyril Morgan and together they ministered in Cippenham, Ferme Park, Campsbourne, Mount Pleasant Northampton, Welwyn Garden City, Battersea and South Oxford.
While being a very supportive minster’s wife she developed a very significant role in Baptist women’s work, becoming chairperson of women’s committees in 1976. She was passionate about enabling women to use their God-given gifts in the service of God and the church. To this end she travelled the country preaching, speaking at women’s rallies and organising conferences .
She organised and led training sessions on such things as preparing addresses, public speaking, running meetings, and committee procedure. Her efforts were transformative and met with great appreciation as she opened people’s eyes to new possibilities. Her circle of friends was enormous and she became a living ‘Who’s Who?’ on the Baptist family. She had a very wide circle of friends and was much loved.
She lived through a period of significant misogyny and together with her colleagues had many battles to fight. Deaconesses who became Baptist ministers and indeed women ministers today owe a significant debt to the struggle of such women. Much money for Home Mission (and its precursors) was raised by the Women’s Dept.
In the early days they ran a Girls’ Hostel in London, and a home for mothers and babies which led to the formation of the Baptist Adoption Society. It was with great sadness that she saw the Women’s Department closed in 1992. She felt strongly there was a long way to go until churches were free from gender – related prejudice.
But she had a wider vision too, having supported the Baptist Missionary Society from childhood. She was particularly interested in the post-war Baptist church in Europe and worked hard for the EBWU, becoming its Vice President for five years in the 1980s, attending and organising many conferences in different European cities.
She was also involved with the BWA and took part in World congresses as a delegate and as a conference speaker. She was committed to ecumenism from her youth and was the BU representative on a major Mission and Unity consultation of the Church of England in 1981.
She and Cyril retired to Carey Baptist Church Moulton in Northamptonshire. They had two children – Deri and Eiluned, and are survived by Eiluned.