Furlong, Monica (Mavis) 1930-2003

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FURLONG, Monica (Mavis) 1930-2003

OBITUARY NOTICE—See index for CA sketch: Born January 17, 1930, in Harrow (some sources cite Kenton), Middlesex, England; died of cancer January 14, 2003, in Umberleigh, Devon (some sources cite London), England. Novelist and journalist. Furlong was a leading advocate for the ordination of women as priests of the Church of England. A journalist by profession, most notably for the London Daily Mail in the 1960s, she used the written word to communicate her spirituality, feminism, and deep commitment to the church. She was also an activist. In the early 1980s Furlong presented a one-day Festival of Women. In 1982 she was appointed moderator of the Movement for the Ordination of Women. A few years later she helped to establish the Saint Hilda's Community, a weekly religious gathering led by ordained female clergy from the United States. In 1992 the General Synod of the Church of England finally extended the right of ordination to women, but Furlong objected to the compromise provisions attached to the decision. She responded with the books Act of Synod—Act of Folly and The Church of England: The State It's In. Furlong's writings extended beyond journalism and nonfiction on ecumenical matters. She wrote novels for young adults, including Wise Child and A Year and a Day, mystical fantasies set in Dark-Age England, and fiction and poetry for adults, including the novel The Cat's Eye. She was also credited with several biographies, notably of Thomas Merton and Thérèse of Lisieux and another titled Zen Effects: The Life of Alan Watts.



Furlong, Monica, Bird of Paradise, Mowbray, 1995.

Furlong, Monica, Our Childhood's Pattern: Memoirs of Growing up Christian, Morehouse, 1995.


Independent (London, England), January 18, 2003, obituary by Ruth McCurry, p. 20.

Los Angeles Times, January 30, 2003, p. B13.

Times (London, England), January 16, 2003, p. 36.