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Temple for Manchester

04 December 2020

December 3rd, 1920.

[After a breakfast with Welsh Calvinistic Methodists, the Prime Minister, David Lloyd George, had recently been reported in Y Cymro as saying, “with a roguish look in his eye”, of English bishops that “Mr Ernest Evans chooses them and I appoint them. He now and then goes to hear them preach, and when he returns he sometimes says about some of them, ‘That one has ability, he’ll do.’” Captain Evans was a Downing Street official, but at this stage the CT had not discovered his identity.]

WHOEVER is responsible — be it Mr Evans or some other — for the choice of a successor to Dr Knox in the see of Manchester has chosen well, and in accordance with popular desire. Indeed, Dr [William] Temple is in the perilous position of him whom all men unite in praising. But that is no real danger to a man with so well developed a sense of humour as Dr Temple’s, since a sense of humour is after all nothing other than a nice sense of proportion. His promotion to the episcopal bench at such an early age would be a matter for surprise had he not, on account of great abilities, long been marked down for high preferment. It is indeed a hopeful sign of times. The search for chief pastors should be among the men of vigorous action rather than, as formerly, among the diplomatic and non-committal. One most important consequence of the new appointment will be the strengthening of the Upper House of the Convocation of York. It must be long since the two ablest debaters in the Church were in the Northern Province. In Dr Temple the Bishop of Durham [Hensley Henson] will find his match. Lancashire has special reasons for welcoming the new Bishop, for it is in the North that the Workers’ Educational Association, of which he is president, has been most valued. Seldom has a bishop gone to his new work with prayers and good wishes so widely and so variously offered as those which will accompany Dr Temple from Westminster to Manchester.

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