A Kroll, who died at the age of 91 years, was a medical doctor, a nun, a feminist, an activist with a leading role in the movement for the ordination of women, an activist for peace and justice, counselor to many, and for many others a disturber of the peace. She defied the labels. Perhaps the title of his 1995 book, the Vocation to the Resistance, came closest to defining her.
Never afraid of publicity, has courted, when the General Synod, the legislative body of the Church of England, in 1978, he said no to the ordination of women. A call down from the gallery: “We asked for bread and were given a stone.” His words echoed far beyond the Church House. It was, he said, “all part of my non-violent resistance to injustice.” His 2014 autobiography would be entitled Bread Not Stones.
In 1992, the first women were ordained in England. A was by then living in Wales, and when the Church in Wales, followed, in 1997, was made a priest. However, something spiritual enfant terrible of his youth remained. He shocked his admirers and friends, making the final surrender of personal ambition, publicly, that establishes his priesthood, and in 2008, in solidarity with the women, joining the Roman Catholic church. It was not a theological conversion, but, after long reflection, a spiritual impulse to join the powerless. She does not renounce to his past and continues to worship in both churches. For One, the barriers of the history of the church, had evaporated.
She was born in London in a cosmopolitan family. His father, George Hill, from a family of timber traders, in the Russian Baltic, was a British spy in both world wars, finally, with the rank of brigadier. He left his mother, Hilda (nee Pediani), before it was two. A he told us that he spent his childhood being looked after by the mother, family and friends in France, Latvia, Italy and great Britain, and to speak in Russian and in English and French.
At the beginning of the second world war, was in Hampstead, north London, living in the Russian émigré communities. The war has left a deep mark. Three of his cousins, the Baltic Germans to fight on Hitler’s side in Russia. Two of them were killed, the third was one of Stalin’s prisoners for 12 years.
One was sent to St Paul’s school for girls, Malvern girls college, and at 19 went to study medicine at Girton College, Cambridge. There, his Christianity, the nominal transformed into Christian activism. “The war and of life among the refugees pushed me to become a doctor and a socialist,” she wrote me in a letter. “Love your enemy and peace, the justice has become the crucial driving forces of my life.” The surrender of personal ambition led the young doctor to be a part of the Community of the Holy Name, an Anglican religious order, in 1954.
The community sent a hospital in Liberia, in west Africa, but within three years his vow of obedience collided with his beliefs. In 1957 she became ill, and a monk from america to work in Liberia, and offered to take his return to Britain. In a matter of fact, he said: “When we arrived in Paris, we decided to get married. It was not so much a love story as simply the right thing to do.” Leo Kroll, many years her senior, as a result is a job as a priest. A, and Leo was the first of four children, a year later, in 1959, together with the work, in what is now Namibia. Hated the racist laws, has been involved with the anti-apartheid struggle and within two years they were expelled from the country.
In 1961, with Leo’s support, he took on the life as a GP in a large real estate complex in St Paul’s Cray, south-east London. It was combined with many years of campaigns for women’s rights, spurred on by the injustices that he experienced in his daily work. The sexism in the church made her blood boil.
She became an honorary deaconess in 1970, in the south London parish of another iconoclast, the reverend Donald Reeves – “dangerous man,” as Margaret Thatcher called him. The rebels did not always hit it off. These two have done. However, it was not a natural team player. Later treated found their colleague. In the general elections of October 1974, stood as an independent candidate in the Sutton constituency in support of equal opportunities. It gave a platform and a little more than 300 votes.
With an increasingly strong inner call to the priesthood, he turned his focus on the church. It was a long fight, but the tide was slowly turning. Some members of the Movement for the Ordination of Women are uncomfortable with his militant style. His opponents both feared and admired. But it was the institution, not the people, with whom he was spiritually at war.
In the end, the activist, the radical has started to give more and more to the sweet and patient listener, a wise counselor, a soul, a friend to many and a spiritual director to men and women. In this capacity, he helped my wife and me to overcome the trauma and ultimate death of a disturbed child. The BBC has invited her to be part of a team to respond publicly to the problems of the people.
A widower and retired from medicine in 1987, she moved to a cottage next to a parish church in Wales, life as a contemplative nun. “No amount of good works,” he wrote at that time, “was enough to stop our lemming-like race to the brink of destruction. If there is justice in the world can only come by repentance on a large scale.” To be closer to his children, he moved in 2003 to a small apartment in Bury, Greater Manchester.
One was the life of a passionate and stormy love story with the church. In his last years, physically frail, but still mentally and spiritually strong, he has embraced a solitary life of prayer for the many who she loved and for the peace of the world. The storm had calmed down, even if not all of his righteous wrath. For the last, the compassion remained.
She is survived by her children, Florence, Leo, Elizabeth, and A, and 10 grandchildren.
• Margaret Patricia Kroll, a doctor, a priest and activist, born on December 15, 1925; died January 6, 2017