Kilbourn, Elizabeth

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Kilbourn, Elizabeth

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Elizabeth Kilbourn, broadcaster, journalist, and Anglican minister, was born on 18 July 1926 to Violet M. Hill and Rev. Philip A. Sawyer. She attended Caledonia High School (1939-1944) and Trinity College at the University of Toronto (1944-1948), where she studied modern history and graduated with high honours. In the summer of 1946 and 1947, she worked in Alberta on the Western Canada Anglican Sunday School Caravan Mission. She studied for her Master's degree at Radcliffe College at Harvard University (1948-1949), and married her fellow Trinity alumnus William Morley Kilbourn (1926-1995) on 10 September 1949. The couple lived in the United States and England while William studied at Oxford and Harvard, and later lectured at Harvard, McMaster, and York universities. The couple had five children. During the late 1950s and 1960s, Kilbourn was an art critic for The Hamilton spectator, CBC Radio and The Toronto star. Between 1972 and 1973 she was an art lecturer at the Art Gallery of Toronto. During this time, she also published articles in Art, Canadian forum, and Tamarack review.

In 1975 Kilbourn returned to Trinity College and the Toronto School of Theology (TST) to study for her Masters of Divinity. After graduating in 1977, she studied at St. George's College in Jerusalem. She was ordained deacon in 1977, and became one of the Anglican Church's first women clergy in 1978. In 1986 she was the first woman to be nominated for the position of Suffragan (assistant) Bishop in the Anglican Church of Canada. Between 1976 and 1984, Kilbourn studied for accreditation in clinical pastoral education, and worked as the Anglican chaplain at Toronto General Hospital and within the Diocese of Toronto (1977-1981). She was also active on the International Council for Pastoral Care and Counseling during the 1980s. Kilbourn qualified as practitioner of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator psychological assessments in 1981, and gave workshops on this procedure at TST for congregations, clergy, civil servants, and business people until 1999. She also taught interim ministry at TST from 1989 to 1999, and served as an interim minister for ten churches in the diocese of Toronto. Kilbourn married Richard Ernest Mackie in 1999. She met Mackie when they were students at Trinity College in 1944-1945, but were separated when he returned to England at the end of the war. Kilbourn joined Mackie in Warminster, Wiltshire, England. She received permission from the Church of England to officiate in the diocese of Salisbury in 2001, which was expanded to include Bath and Wells dioceses the following year. In addition to being attached to several parishes, she served as duty chaplain at Wells and Salisbury catherdrals. Kilbourn was granted the degree of Doctor of Divinity (honoris causa) by Trinity College on 15 May 2001.


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