The Hereford election

05 January 2018

January 4th, 1918.

AT HEREFORD to-day a little group of men are assembled to take a decision fraught in any case with grave consequences to the Church in England. Members of the close and greater Chapters, they will be invited to join — if precedent be followed — in devotions which imply an actual choice of a bishop by Divine guidance. They will subsequently listen to the reading of the King’s licence to elect. They will next hear read the Letter Missive “containing the name of the person whom they shall elect”. There will remain to them the choice between three courses. They may submissively, even though reluctantly, elect the nominee of the Baptist Prime Minister, a priest whom it is safe to say that the Chapter would never elect if they were free to choose, and whose nomination has been received with dismay not only within the diocese of Hereford but throughout England. They may decline to elect Dr Henson. They may, greatly daring, elect another priest, or one who is already a bishop, or at least suggest that another name be submitted to them. The last would be the courageous course, but we can hardly dare to hope that it will be taken. Yet to take the first will be as the letting out of waters.

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