Frederick Temple, Archbishop of Canterbury: A Life

Frederick Temple, Archbishop of Canterbury: A Life

Frederick Temple, Archbishop of Canterbury: A Life

Frederick Temple, Archbishop of Canterbury: A Life

Synopsis

Frederick Temple was Archbishop of Canterbury from 1897 to 1902, and was involved in many crucial events in education, theology, and ecclesiastical politics in the second half of the nineteenth century. Almost his last act as archbishop was to crown Edward VII. Hinchcliff has made use of largely unpublished family papers as well as over a hundred volumes of official papers at Lambeth Palace to paint a vivid portrait of this key figure.

Excerpt

The first task of Temple's episcopate was to win over the clergy of the diocese. They were anxious, no doubt, about their new bishop's orthodoxy and yet it would not have been the points of pure theology which worried them most. Their chief concerns would have been such things as: the kind of sermons he would preach when he came to perform. confirmations; his policies affecting the schools in their parishes; his attitude to everyday matters of morality; and, above all, his personal relations and dealings with themselves. For almost two generations they had been used to the forceful (sometimes cantankerous) leadership provided by Phillpotts who had believed that the orthodoxy of the High Churchmen was the orthodoxy of the Church of England and had had little sympathy with other schools of theology. Many of them had publicly committed themselves to the campaign to prevent the appointment and consecration of their new bishop. Some of them found it very difficult to relax their opposition lest they might seem to condone what they had formerly described as heresy. Others, recognizing that the appointment was fait accompli, and that Exeter was remote from the centres of theological and ecclesiastical power, would seize on any opportunity to make their peace with Temple.

For Temple himself the move to Exeter was a home-coming. He was the west-country lad who could plough as straight a furrow as any farmer in the parish. He was also, in spite of Essays and Reviews, the boy who had been brought up in the strict tradition of Church principles. in recent years he had claimed the right to think for himself and he continued to say that the Church of England was the most 'catholic' church there was, by which he meant that it was the most comprehensive. As a bishop, however, he also needed to insist, as he had never found it necessary to insist before, upon loyalty to the Church. His mother's early training had been calculated to instil just such an obedient loyalty. the world of Henry Phillpotts was not entirely new territory for him. It was as though, in his first few years in Exeter, he reverted in . . .

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