100 years Ago: Dr Lang raised to York

by
19 November 2008

November 20th, 1908.

IN ADVISING the Crown to nominate the Bishop of Stepney [Dr Cosmo Gordon Lang] to the Archbishopric of York, the Prime Minister has taken a step which does him infinite credit. Great pressure was used to induce him to recommend the translation of the Bishop of Hereford [Dr John Per­cival], and the principal argument was that he had done such yeoman service to the Liberal cause and party. Mr Asquith could well have refused the suggestion, on the score of the Bishop of Hereford’s age, which might, without offence, be thought too far advanced for the efficient discharge of the duties involved in the oversight of a whole Province. Perhaps it is for this reason that he went to the other extreme, and recommended for the Primacy the youngest Bishop whom he could find. The Bishop of Stepney, however, joins to his com­parative youth a record of wide and varied experience and a vast amount of hard work successfully accomplished, which must be reckoned to him as a set-off to his lack of seniority. London, and his own East End, will greatly miss an inspiring leader, but we shall not grudge him to the Northern Province, perceiving, as we do, that there is opened to him a wider sphere for the exercise of his com­manding powers. The gap which his promotion makes in the Chapter of St Paul’s is a serious one, and we await with some anxiety the an­nounce­ment of the new Arch­bishop’s successor.

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