Elizabeth Ferard, first Deaconess of the Church of England

18 July -- Commemoration
If celebrated as a Lesser Festival, Common of Religious, page 494

Elizabeth Catherine Ferard was encouraged by Bishop Tait of London to visit deaconess institutions in Germany and, in November 1861, she and a group of women dedicated themselves 'to minister to the necessities of the Church' as servants in the Church. On this day in 1862, Elizabeth Ferard received the first deaconess licence from Bishop Tait. She went on to found a community of deaconesses within a religious sisterhood, working first in a poor parish in the King's Cross area of London and then moving to Notting Hill in 1873. When her health failed, she passed on the leadership to others and died on Easter Day 1883.