100 years ago: Dean Inge appointed

26 April 2011

April 28th, 1911.

IT WAS announced on Monday morning that the King has been pleased to approve the appointment of the Rev. William Ralph Inge, D.D., Lady Margaret Professor of Divinity in the University of Cambridge, to be Dean of St Paul’s in succession to the Very Rev. Robert Gregory, D.D. . . .

Dr Inge has now attained one of the most important posts in the Church. He follows two deans who have raised St Paul’s almost out of the dust to a unique place in the life of London, of the nation, indeed of the whole Empire. Those that have heard him preach may be inclined to doubt whether his voice will

be able to adapt itself to the peculiarities of the Cathedral, and whether his academic style is likely to appeal to the great congregations of all classes of people that assemble so frequently in St Paul’s. But preaching is not the special work of a Dean in his own Cathedral. At St Paul’s, indeed, the Dean preaches only by prescriptive right on four occasions in the year. The late Dean Church had a very feeble voice, and his sermons could be heard by few, but they were read far and wide, and are still read.

Dr Inge represents in some respects a different tradition of Churchmanship from Dean Gregory, but this fact will not influence adversely the high standard of worship which has made St Paul’s a model of Cathedral services, and given it the place it now holds in the affections of English Church­men. With such a standard of worship Dr Inge is in full sym­pathy. . .

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