Project Canterbury

Cuddesdon College 1854-1904

A Record and Memorial

London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1904.

Chapter I. The History of the Fabric

THE diocese of Oxford was founded in the year 1527. Undoubtedly it was intended by the leaders of the English Reformation that there should be in this as in all other dioceses a diocesan college for the special training of those who were to be its clergy. [See p. 6 and footnote.] But this plan was never carried into effect until one of its most distinguished bishops, Samuel Wilberforce, was instituted into the see. One or two such colleges had been founded elsewhere at an earlier date. In 1810 the Scottish Church had founded one for the Scotch dioceses. The Chichester Diocesan Theological College for graduates and non-graduates was started in 1839. Wells Theological College, which has the honour of being the oldest theological college in England intended exclusively for graduates, was founded in 1840; S. Aidan's College, for graduates and non-graduates, in 1846; Queen's College, Birmingham, for graduates and non-graduates, in 1851; besides the missionary colleges of the C.M.S. at Islington (1825), S. Augustine's, Canterbury (1848), and the theological departments at Durham University and King's College, London, which were especially intended for the training of candidates for the ministry of the Church. In the colonies also [1/2] a move had been made. Bishop Selwyn had already established a college in New Zealand, and there was a similar plan for Natal. The idea of a Theological College was not new to Churchmen. It was not surprising that Bishop Wilberforce on entering upon his office should single out as one of the foremost needs of his diocese a college for the special training of its clergy; and the presence of the great University in the centre of his see naturally inclined him to work in conjunction with it, and establish a graduate college.

Amongst his notes of January, 1846, written immediately after his consecration, there is a list of "Agenda"; second on this list is "a diocesan training college for clergy to be established at Cuddesdon." At first he thought of starting a college within the palace grounds. Later, however, he was persuaded to give up this idea in favour of a scheme which made the provision of the institution more a diocesan act, and included the building of a college just outside the palace grounds. Even in this amended form the Bishop's purpose was not carried into effect without much opposition. The University of Oxford was still in the hands of the Church of England, and the Bishop's scheme was regarded as a slight upon the training given to candidates for Holy Orders at that University. The opinion was already abroad, too, that theological colleges must of necessity be party institutions, and so must intensify and stereotype the disunion in the Church; and, further, that they would be in danger of shutting their students too much away from the world and turning them into "seminarists." Still, Bishop Wilberforce persevered in his intention. He appealed to his friends for help in raising the necessary funds. In the subscription list for the building of the College are the names of the Bishop of London, Mr. W. E. Gladstone, Earl Powis, Sir J. Coleridge, Lord Barrington, Mr. P. Pusey, Archdeacon R. Wilberforce, the Duke of Buccleuch, Baron Alderson, [2/3] the Marquis of Bath, Lord Dartmouth, Lord Craven. The whole diocese also joined heartily in the work. Many of the parishes made special collections for the purpose. The rural deans acted as treasurers for their respective deaneries. Thus, in its origin, the College was in a real sense the representative and child of the diocese, being the fruit of an effort in which every part of the diocese had its share. By February, 1853, nearly £3,000 had been collected, and the work was entrusted to the diocesan architect, Mr. Street. On April 7th of this year the chief stone was laid. This stone can be seen about a foot from the ground just to the right of the front door of the present building. [The above was written on the supposition that the present stone was the original foundation-stone. But a workman who was engaged both on the older building and on the new chapel affirms, with the most circumstantial details, that, under the builder's directions, he himself loosened the old foundation-stone, which was then removed and used as the foundation-stone of the new chapel. Another stone marked with three crosses was put in the place of the original foundation-stone.] The Guardian of April 13th, 1853, gives the following account of the proceedings:--

Thursday, the 7th instant, was the day appointed for laying the foundation-stone of the Bishop of Oxford's Diocesan Training College at Cuddesdon. The service on the occasion, which, from the number of clergy present (upwards of a hundred), was strikingly impressive, began with a procession of choristers and clergy, followed by the Bishop and his chaplains, from the Episcopal Palace to the site of the proposed building, the choir chanting the 127th and 128th Psalms. On arriving at the ground the choir sang the hymn, "Angulare Fundamentum," from the Hymnal Noted. The Bishop then advanced to the foundation of the building in the face of a sharp storm of wind and rain and addressed the spectators. "They were met together," he said, "to invoke a blessing on this institution at its outset. I thank God for the numbers gathered around me here from all parts of this diocese, and I thank you for the strength which your presence gives me. The work which we propose to do is not for ourselves, nor for this diocese only, nor for the clergy only, but for the universal [3/4] Church of God through its ministers. Your presence here shows that you agree with me in thinking that the present mode of preparing for ordination is unsatisfactory, and that such preparation ought rather to be carried on under the close superintendence of the Bishop of the diocese. In general, young men pass the year between taking their degree and being ordained without rule, and often without a guide, scattered about all over England. Institutions of this kind, under the direct management of the Bishop, will keep young men together in discipline, will give them parochial experience, and tend to form habits of life for the future clergyman. Far be it from me to say anything in disparagement of our Universities, yet they do not meet the case. They may be all very well for those who wish to arrive at abstruse theological learning, but we want something which shall more directly prepare men, who have gone through a general education, for the practical duties of a clergyman. We have already had experience of the good which such institutions can do at Wells, Durham, and Chichester. The Church has a work before her to meet a growing intelligence in the masses; and in proportion as the people advance, so will their teachers need the greater preparation. All that man can do to settle the institution on a firm basis has been done: it is placed for ever under the direction of the Bishop of this diocese, and security is given in the Trust Deed that none shall ever teach here against the Word of God and the Church of England. But there is still an effort to be made: £1,500 are still wanting to complete the necessary funds; and I would ask you who are gathered here to communicate our needs to your friends, that those who can may help us. Let us not be discouraged that the weather seems to be against us; no work for God was ever done without difficulty any more than works for man, and I see in the weeping clouds a promise, 'He that now goeth on his way weeping, and beareth forth good seed, shall doubtless come again with joy and bring his sheaves with him.' For the realisation of this promise I have just now had prayers in my house with my clergy, and I call upon you all now to pray that God, by His grace, will finish what He has begun; that He will keep this College ever free from party and sectarian disputes, that we may rear therein ripened clergymen with the spirit of Richard Hooker and the temper of Lancelot Andrewes. Let us pray for grace to trust in Him, that His kingdom may be advanced and souls be saved by this institution." "Our Father."

[5] The Bishop then proceeded to lay the comer-stone. It is marked with three crosses on the outside, and into it is let a plate with the following inscription:--

S. Sanctae et Individuae Trinitatis auxilio
Divinarum rerum studiis in melius provehendis
Feliciter cedat,
Collegii Theologici
Lapidem hunc angularem
In Nomine Patris, Filii, et Spiritus Sancti
Permissu divino
Episcopus Oxoniensis
VII. Id: April:
Anno Salutis MDCCCLIII.
Soli Deo Gloria.

Prayers, from a special form compiled for the occasion, were then read by the Bishop, the vicar of the parish, and the rural dean, after which the choir chanted the Te Deum, and the Bishop dismissed the assembly with his blessing.

The singing was performed by the united choirs of Holywell, S. Peter's, S. Thomas' (Oxford), Culham, and Cuddesdon, under the direction of J. W. Fish, Esq., and saving that one of these bodies showed a tendency to chant faster than the rest, their work was thoroughly well performed, and, owing to their numbers, singularly effective.

The cost of the building will be £3,800, of which £2,700 have been collected. The land in support of the College is conveyed in trust to the Bishop, the Archdeacon of Oxford, and the Vicar of Cuddesdon, for the time being. The management is in the Bishop alone.

The first Principal will be the Rev. A. Pott, vicar of the parish; and it is hoped that by this time next year the College will be opened for the reception of twenty students, to which number it is at first limited.

The following is an extract from the Trust Deed referred to by the Bishop above:--

A school for the theological training of candidates for Holy Orders in the Church of England and Ireland, and for no other [5/6] purpose whatsoever; such school to be under the sole management and control of the said Samuel, Lord Bishop of Oxford, and his successors for the time being for ever. Provided always that the following declaration shall be made and subscribed in the presence of the Bishop of Oxford for the time being by every person holding any office as teacher in the said school before entering upon the duties of his office; that is to say:--

"I, A. B., do solemnly declare that I will execute the office of --------- to which I have been nominated in the Theological School at Cuddesdon in the Diocese of Oxford, for the instruction of those who are to preach the Word of God in that diocese, in accordance with the Articles and Book of Common Prayer of the Church of England as agreed upon at their final settlement in the year 1662, and also in conformity with the rule laid down by the two Houses of Convocation, when, in the year 1571, they imposed on the clergy subscription to the Articles: 'ne quid unquam doceant pro concione quod a populo religiose teneri et credi velint, nisi quod consentaneum sit doctrinae Veteris aut Novi Testamenti, quodque ex ilia ipsa doctrina Catholici Patres et veteres Episcopi collegerint.' "

In the latter half of 1853 a further circular was issued, which gives an account of the purposes and scope of the proposed College, and contains an appeal for funds.

The proposed Collegiate Institution at Cuddesdon, for the training of candidates for Holy Orders, is intended to do something towards supplying a want, long felt in the English Church. Of such schools of pastoral theology in early times we have abundant instances, and it is well known that at the period of the Reformation a strenuous, though futile, attempt was made by the promoters of that movement in this country to divert some of the property of the religious houses to the establishment of such foundations, "hoping that new houses should have been erected at every Cathedral, to be nurseries for that whole diocese." [The Reformatio Leg. Eccl. directs that the bishops' houses, after the model of that of S. Augustine, should be used for that purpose.] It need hardly be said that such institutions in no way interfere with the existing academical bodies. The Universities are by their nature places of general training; special professional education naturally follows upon the foundation there laid.

The principal objects of a training institution would be threefold: [6/7] to give time and opportunity for religious retirement, for practical experience in parochial work, and direction in theological reading. The last is within the reach of some at the Universities; for the other two, at least as important objects, they afford no special facilities. That a great want is felt by young men themselves of such institutions is abundantly testified by the numbers annually received at Wells, which has now reached the maximum number it can admit; the good resulting from such training, if well carried out, is sufficiently shown by the marked success of that institution. The establishment and success of such a College seems an object in which clergy and laity are alike interested. It can hardly be doubted that the efficiency of a clergyman's ministrations in the years immediately succeeding his ordination will depend in great measure on the preparation which has preceded it. It is not too much to say that in many cases experience is learned at the expense of the flock first entrusted to a young clergyman's care. It is for the purpose of supplying this want, and remedying this evil, that the Bishop of Oxford has proposed to establish a College for the residence of young men during the year that intervenes between their graduating at the University and entering Holy Orders. The proposed institution will be under the direction and supervision of the Bishop himself, being built in the immediate vicinity of the episcopal residence. It is proposed to erect Collegiate Buildings on a limited scale in the first instance, with capabilities of extension as circumstances hereafter may require.

A considerable part of the necessary funds have been already raised by the Bishop himself. The buildings were commenced in the spring of the present year and are rapidly approaching completion. Some of his lordship's clergy have expressed a wish to assist in the work, and have undertaken to receive such offerings as any persons feel disposed to make for the furtherance of the design. Contributions may be remitted through the rural deans, the Archdeacon of Oxford, or the Rev. A. Pott, Cuddesdon Vicarage.

The work of building was pushed on steadily, and in little more than a year the College was opened, on June 15th, 1854. The following is the account of the ceremony given by the Guardian (June 21, 1854):--

Thursday last, the 15th instant, was marked in the diocese of Oxford by one of the most interesting ceremonies at which it has ever been [7/8] our lot to be present, the Bishop of the diocese having named that day for the opening of the new Theological College erected in the immediate vicinity of his palace at Cuddesdon. Preparations were made some days beforehand, in order to give a suitable solemnity to the services appointed by him for the occasion. The morning seemed rather inauspicious as regarded weather, and those who were engaged in the services attendant on the laying the first stone of the building in the early part of last year began to fear lest the storm which on that occasion did its worst to spoil the solemnity should meet with its counterpart on this day. Happily, however, the skies did no more than threaten.

At about half-past one the choir assembled at the schoolhouse. It numbered one hundred, and was composed of selections from the choir boys and men of several parishes in Oxford, the students of the Culham Training College, and many members of the University, both clerical and lay, nearly all of them belonging to the Oxford Plain Song Society. Mr. Helmore also joined the choir. All were vested in surplices, and the clergy wore their hoods and stoles. Moving in procession to the church, under the direction of the Precentor, the Rev. J. L. Fish, M.A. (to whom the choral arrangements of the College were entrusted), the members of the choir arranged themselves in the transepts, while the nave was filled by about two hundred and fifty clergy in surplices (two only appearing in gowns), and a large number of the laity. The doors without were crowded with persons unable to obtain an entrance. The chancel was occupied by the Bishop of Oxford and seven of his brethren, the Bishops of London, Bangor, Chichester, Worcester, S. David's, New Zealand, and Natal, together with the rural deans and other dignitaries.

The Litany was sung by the Rev. G. W. Huntingford, M.A., Vicar of Littlemore, and the Rev. C. J. Le Geyt, Chaplain of Magdalen College, kneeling at the chancel steps. The responses were heartily made by the choir and congregation; and the effect of so many voices joining in perfect harmony and devout reverence in the touching words and music of the Church was sublime and striking in the extreme. The Lord Bishop of New Zealand then preached an eloquent and impressive discourse from "The little one shall become a thousand" (Isa. lx. 22).

After the sermon the alms were collected (amounting to £400), while the 149th and 150th Psalms were chanted antiphonally from [8/9] the Psalter Noted. The choir and clergy then left the church in procession, and moved past the palace to the College, chanting the 84th Psalm with striking effect, as the deep voices of the clergy alternated with those of the boys and lay singers. Arrived at the College, the choir and clergy filed off right and left to the spot appointed for them, while the bishops and dignitaries took up their position in the centre in front of the College gate. The inauguration service was then commenced, the bishops retiring within the College to conclude it. During their absence the choir sang "Veni Creator" from the Hymnal Noted, and Psalms 87 and 24 from the Psalter. At the close of the last psalms the bishops returned from the College and severally addressed the congregation.

The Bishop of Oxford said: "My reverend brethren and my brethren of the laity, before we unite together in the concluding praises and prayers of this service, let me say a few words to you as to the purpose of that which we may look for God's blessing upon, when we open it for use. You know that we are intending, with the help of God, to provide here a retreat to be devoted to study, prayer, and training for those who are about to be ordained into the ministry of Christ's Church. Now, I think it would at once present itself to the mind of everyone, unless he had experience to the contrary, that to have such an institution, and to have it close to the residence of the Bishop of the diocese, where day by day, please God, he might see and pray with and help those who were shortly to come under his hand for ordination, must be a natural and a most happy arrangement. And we know that in the earlier times of the Church this was the arrangement, that the Bishop should have round his own residence, where he might continually watch over them, those whom he, in the discharge of his sacred functions, would, if he found them meet, send forth to the great and awful work of ministering to the souls for which Christ died. Yea, my brethren, and not only in early times was this so, but when it pleased God to grant to our nation that deliverance from the corruption and superstition which to such a great degree had overlaid His truth, they whom He then raised up to purge the religion of this country contemplated this as one great part of their reformation, that in conjunction with the Bishop's house there should be a place for the reception of those about to be appointed to the ministry of the Church. Exactly accordant with right reason, with primitive antiquity, and with the desires of the [9/10] great leaders of the Reformation, is that which we are now doing this day; and therefore, brethren assembled here, we may be regarded, as we have been told by my right reverend brother, both as men of memory and hope, in sowing this little seed in the belief that God may cause it to germinate and grow up until its branches overshadow, it may be, thousands of souls. I do heartily thank Him for the sight, with which He has gladdened mine eyes to day, that I see gathered round me from every part of this diocese its faithful laity coming here to help us by their prayers and to testify their sense of the endeavours thus made to supply one of the needs of our common Church. I rejoice unfeignedly to see those whom God has given to labour with me in holy things in this diocese, to see my brethren of the clergy gathering around me again to-day, as I have seen them, thank God, upon so many occasions since I was first placed in this diocese, affording me all that man can afford of a sense of strength. I rejoice, too, in finding the laity, the presbyters and deacons of the Church uniting in prayer, uniting in harmonious praise, and, I would trust, in earnest supplications to our common Lord, and Father, and Redeemer, in behalf of the one object which we have before us. Further, I rejoice abundantly to see that we have amongst us to-day so many representatives of that ancient University to which we are bound by such ties of love and gratitude. Many of the heads and leaders of the chief colleges in that great University are here, and we should have had the presence of others, and also of him who now presides over that seat of learning, had it been possible, so that he might have given the negative at once and for ever to any narrow-minded person who should assert that there must be opposition between such two of the Church's works as that mighty University and this institution for giving to the clergy an opportunity of study and prayer, and the benefit of seclusion and quiet before being sent out to the work to which they are devoted. Those most interested in the welfare of the University regard this work with no narrow prejudice, but rather look at it as calculated to aid, in the course of God's providence, the great work of evangelising the world through the medium of Christianising education. And I rejoice, my reverend brethren, and my brethren of the laity, on your behalf, in the appearance of those right reverend fathers of the Church of England whom I see beside me. Our thanks are due to them in that they have come among us this day, that they have aided us with [10/11] their suggestions, and given us the blessing of their prayers, and of their thanksgivings. A fair and goodly sight has God indeed vouchsafed to us this day: from its earliest dawn, when in the chapel of my house we knelt together, eight of the bishops of the English Church, partaking of the Holy Communion, throughout the Service in which we have been engaged, in which my right reverend brother, who rules over the metropolitan see of this land, has found time amongst his overwhelming occupations to come down and bear part; in which another right reverend brother, whom God has spared ten years beyond the time appointed to the life of men, has also borne part, giving us his patriarchal blessing; and in which my other right reverend brethren of various dioceses have also assisted; indeed, in all that has hitherto marked it, this day has been one of comfort and satisfaction. And when, in addition to what I have named, we have the pleasure of knowing that we should, but for insuperable hindrances, have had five more of that right reverend body with us this day; and when we remember that the providence of God has suffered us here in Oxford in this ancient diocese to welcome home to-day a right reverend brother, who for twelve years has been spending his strength in labours closely allied in their object and purpose with those in which we are engaged, in endeavouring in a far country to give effect to the discipline and teachings of our Church, the solemn interest of the occasion is increased. It is, indeed, right reverend fathers, to my diocese, and to myself, matter of deep thankfulness to God, and of hearty acknowledgment to you, that you have come here to-day to imprint by more than words upon those who have entered upon this work, that what we are doing here is for the Church of our fathers; for no section of it, for nothing narrower than that true Church of England as God in His providence has planted it in this land, to help us to send forth to the work of the ministry men trained to increasing activity; men trained to becoming habits and taught what it is to. give their days to prayer and meditation; men fitted by practical knowledge derived from administration in neighbouring parishes to act with usefulness in their own; men, if God should so will it, not only earnest and desirous to do His work, but knowing something of the work they are going to do. On the part of my diocese I again thank you, my right reverend brethren, for the gladdening of heart and strengthening of hands which we owe to your sympathy in our cause. And I would say [11/12] to you, and to my brethren of the laity, remember this place in your several prayers; remember that to-day is but the sowing of the seed, and not the reaping of a harvest. Think of us whenever you are supplicating most earnestly before the throne of grace, and pray that the dew of God's Spirit may fall upon this place, that we may be kept from all evil, from indifference or self-reliance, from narrowness of mind or superstition, from anything which can influence that pure outline of Catholic truth on which the Church of England clings, and which, thank God, I believe she will still continue to cherish and defend. Pray to God for us, that His Word may be our guide, His truth our light, His strength our guard. Pray to Him that we may be enabled to send out from these walls men humble, thoughtful, careful, patient, and simple lovers of Christ's truth, lovers of men's souls, men whose lives may accord with the goodly pattern of old Church of England piety. And the Lord our God will hearken to your prayers; and, as has been said to us this day, I trust, in the voice of prophecy, in ways that we know not of, and by an expansion of which we venture not now to dream, He will make this one become many, and our little one as a thousand."

After the Bishops of London (Blomfield), Chichester (Gilbert), Bangor (Bethell), S. David's (Thirlwall), Worcester (Pepys), Natal (Colenso), and New Zealand (Selwyn) had spoken, the Bishop of Oxford said, he was sure no one would refuse to join with him in thanking the choir for their attendance. They had come together from the neighbouring University from the love of praising God in those sweet sounds to which He had enabled them to give utterance. And surely they could all join with one heart in giving God thanks; surely what they saw around them that day was a blessed promise of His future favour. He would only remind them under what different circumstances they were then met and the day when they laid the first stone of the building; how they slowly and sadly wended their way in face of one of the coldest and sharpest winds of a spring day, and the heaviest showers which the sky of England knew how to pour down upon them. And, thank God, not one man or one woman's heart failed on that day, although the storm did its best to separate them; but to-day the elements had ceased to buffet them, and the sun, which might have been expected to pour down upon them its burning rays, was graciously sheltered from them by the clouds of heaven, and all nature seemed to testify to them that God was with [12/13] them, and to prove to them that they who went forth, as they went out on that day, weeping, but bringing with them good seed, shall shortly come forth with joy, bearing good fruit.

The Te Deum was then chanted, and with wonderful effect, the light and shade being so carefully observed as to make it plain that everyone in the immense choir, and, indeed, everyone present, entered fully both into the meaning of that sublime hymn and of the chant to which it was sung. At its conclusion the Bishop pronounced the benediction, whilst all the choir, and nearly all the clergy, with many of the laity knelt before him.

No one who was present could fail to be deeply moved with the whole ceremony. The grandeur of the Litany and of the rest of the music, the hearty devotion of all who took part in the service, the impressive sermon, and the eloquent addresses of the right reverend prelates, must have struck everyone.

The touching address of the venerable Bishop of Bangor in particular brought tears into many eyes, while the sight of so many kneeling on the ground to receive their Bishop's benediction was at once impressive and instructive.

The name given to the new College was "Cuddesdon College." After Bishop Wilberforce's death it was often called "Wilberforce College, Cuddesdon." So Bishop Mackarness spoke of it on the day when the foundation-stone of the memorial chapel was laid. But he went on to say that Cuddesdon College was, and always had been, its proper name, and it is by this name it is generally known.

The buildings with which the College began its career consisted of rooms for twenty-one students (two of which on the top floor have since been set apart for the chaplain), seven sets of rooms occupying each of the three floors; two rooms for the vice-principal; a lecture-room (now the organist's room); dining-hall (now the lecture-room); common-room and library; chapel (now the upper library); and servants' offices. The principal entrance was underneath the bow-window of the common-room. The present entrance hall was then the servants' sitting-room. For [13/14] twenty years the College was able to carry on its work within these limits. But from the first it had been the intention of Bishop Wilberforce to add to the buildings as funds became available for the purpose, and when he died as Bishop of Winchester in 1873, it was decided that the best memorial to him in the Oxford diocese would be to complete the College buildings with some further necessary additions, in particular a larger and more appropriate chapel, for which a fund had been started in 1865. The following letter was issued by the then Bishop of Oxford (Dr. Mackarness):--

Diocesan Wilberforce Memorial.

Cuddesdon Palace, Wheatley,

6th October, 1873.

Sir,--As chairman of a public meeting held at Oxford on Friday last, I write to invite your support to the plan then agreed upon for a memorial to Bishop Wilberforce in especial connection with the diocese over which he presided for nearly twenty-five years. Of all the institutions which he either founded or raised to new life, none engaged a larger share of his affectionate care than his College at Cuddesdon. It was by the help of its buildings, as well as by its spiritual and theological preparation of candidates for Holy Orders, that he was enabled to give the business of his examinations for ordination a character almost, if not entirely, unknown in England when his episcopate began. With many other assemblies of those who were assisting him in the work of the diocese, the College is connected in the memory of all who attended them.

The buildings, however, were never completed. There is no provision for a sick-room of any kind; there are no sufficient offices; above all, there is no chapel, except a room devoted to that purpose immediately under the roof. The College was founded without endowment of any kind. In 1867, however, an endeavour was made to give it a permanent character; and it was agreed to raise, "as a mark of respect and affection for its distinguished founder," a "Wilberforce Endowment Fund." A good commencement of this undertaking was made, and a few donations were also received towards the building of a chapel.

[15] It was determined by the recent meeting to do thoroughly what was only attempted in 1867. The College is already a true memorial of Bishop Wilberforce: it was his creation; it stands as an evidence of his untiring work; our aim is to make it in all respects what he would have wished it to be. The new chapel, it is hoped, may contain some monumental effigy of the Bishop which would recall to the eye his cheering presence at the meetings of the College in days now passed away.

It has been further suggested that some missionary studentships should be attached to the College, as especially appropriate to the commemoration of a Bishop whose zeal for the extension of the Colonial Church, and for missions to the heathen beyond its borders, was un-diminished to the last hours of his unresting life. What can be done in this respect must depend entirely on the amount contributed to the present fund. If all who were ordained, or confirmed, by Bishop Wilberforce in the diocese of Oxford should be willing to take a part, there is no reason why a missionary foundation may not be included in the work.

Hoping that you may be disposed to assist us,

I remain

Your faithful Friend and Brother,

J. F. Oxon.

Before this letter was issued the work of collection had already begun, and a sum of over £2,000 had been promised for the purpose. By January of the next year (1874) the committee for the memorial announced that they felt justified in beginning the building. Of the £5,000 which the additions were to cost, about £4,000 had already been obtained. Mr. Street, the architect of the original building, was again entrusted with the work, and shortly after the festival of 1874 the actual building was begun. By the autumn the walls of the lecture-room on the ground floor were raised high enough for the corner-stone of the chapel (which was to be over the lecture-room) to be laid. The following is an account of the ceremony:--

On Tuesday, November 17th, 1874, the corner-stone of the Wilberforce Memorial Chapel at Cuddesdon was laid by the Right Reverend [15/16] John Fielder Mackarness, Lord Bishop of Oxford, visitor of the College. At three o'clock in the afternoon a short service was held in the existing chapel. After a short address from the Bishop, the Nicene Creed was recited by the congregation, consisting of the officers and students of the College. Hymn 320 (from Hymns Ancient and Modern), "The Church's one Foundation," was then sung, followed by Psalms 84, 87, and 127. Some collects concluded the service in chapel.

The Bishop then proceeded to lay the stone, which is in the south-east corner of the chapel, and marked by three crosses. "Ad honorem Domini Nostri Jesu Christi, et ad profectum sacrosanctae Matris Ecclesiae, in piam memoriam viri reverendissimi Samuelis Wilberforce, hujusce Collegii Fundatoris, hunc lapidem angularem collocamus, in Nomine Domini, Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti. Amen." After the stone had been thus laid, the 100th Psalm was sung by all present: after which the Bishop pronounced the blessing.--(From the College Register.)

Tuesday, May 25th, 1875, being the day of the Annual College Festival, was chosen for the dedication of the chapel.

The following account is taken from the College Record for 1876:--

On Trinity Sunday, May 23rd, the last Compline was sung, and on Monday, May 24th, the last Eucharist celebrated in the "old chapel," dear by its associations to so many generations of Cuddesdon students. On Monday afternoon the altar and reredos were removed, to be placed temporarily in the new chapel. The new lecture-room, which is immediately under the chapel, was first used for the meeting of old students, usually held on the eve of the festival. At this meeting a most valuable and interesting paper on "The Prevalence of Scepticism" was read by the Rev. R. S. Copleston, Fellow of S. John's College, Oxford, since made Bishop of Colombo, Ceylon.

On Tuesday, May 25th, the new chapel was formally dedicated to the service of God by a celebration in it of the Holy Communion at eight a.m. The Bishop was the celebrant, the Principal and the Vice-Principal being respectively epistoler and gospeller. The service was choral, and the choir, consisting entirely of past and present students of the College, was accompanied by the Rev. W. Neville, [16/17] late student of the College, and curate of Wantage. The following prayers in dedication of the chapel were offered by the Bishop before pronouncing the final blessing--

"O Eternal God, mighty in Power, in Majesty incomprehensible, Whom the Heaven of Heavens cannot contain, much less the walls of Temples made with hands, Who yet hast been graciously pleased to promise Thine especial Presence in the gatherings of Thy faithful here on earth; Vouchsafe, we beseech Thee, to be present with us here this day, and accept at our hands this place now dedicated to Thy service. Preserve it henceforth and for evermore from all unhallowed, profane, and ordinary uses. Make it Thine alone, and grant that herein Thy holy Sacraments may be duly celebrated, Thy holy Word be ever read, the Sacrifice of Praise and Thanksgiving ever offered, Thy pure and blessed Gospel continually preached, and Thy people blest, absolved, strengthened, and comforted in Thy holy Name. Hear us, O Lord, now and for ever, for the sake of Jesus Christ, our only Mediator and Advocate. Amen."

"Grant, O Lord, not only that this Thy Temple may be kept holy and undefiled, but that the students of this College who worship herein may evermore kneel before Thee with cleansed and renewed hearts, freed from all carnal and worldly imaginations, and seeking Thee only and Thy glory, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."

At mattins in the parish church at half-past eleven, the prayers were intoned by the Rev. T. H. A. Houblon, and the choir accompanied on the organ by the Rev. W. Neville. Archdeacon Pott, the first Principal of the College, preached from Isaiah lx. 22, "I the Lord will hasten it in His time," and alluded in the course of his sermon to the encouraging words of Bishop Selwyn's sermon at the opening of the College, twenty-one years before, upon the first part of the same verse, "A little one shall become a thousand."

Mattins ended, the Bishop, clergy, and students of the College proceeded from the church through the palace grounds to the College. A short service was first held in the new lecture-room underneath the chapel, and an address given by the Bishop, after which the procession, consisting of present students, officers, and visitor (Bishop of Oxford), made a circuit of the new buildings, proceeding finally to the chapel, where the Te Deum was sung.

The luncheon, as usual, took place in the Bishop's grounds, at [17/18] which about three hundred guests sat down. Among the speakers afterwards were the Bishop of Brechin (Forbes); the Bishop of Bloemfontein (Webb), a former Vice-Principal; Dr. King, late Principal of the College; and the Rev. R. S. Copleston, now Bishop of Colombo.

The retreat after the festival was conducted by the Rev. Father Benson, of Cowley.

The chapel is thus described:--

The chapel adjoins the College, and is intended for the exclusive use of the students. Its length is forty feet, and width twenty feet. The walls are built of native stone, with bath-stone dressings, and the floor is laid with encaustic tiles. The ceiling is of English oak panelling, with tracery, and the roof is covered with red tiles. The altar, which has hitherto been in use in that part of the College used as a chapel, has been temporarily placed in the new building, but a new altar will shortly be erected, and also a reredos. The sanctuary is approached by two Derbyshire marble steps, and the floor is laid with marble and encaustic tiles. At the west end is an English oak carved screen, of the Early English period, and in front of the same on each side of the entrance to the chapel is a stall, each to accommodate three persons, being intended for the Principal, the Vice-Principal, and other officers, whilst the body of the chapel will be devoted to the use of the students. The organ gallery is erected over the screen at the west end, and the new organ to be placed there will be the gift of the Vice-Principal. The windows, which are of tracery work, with carved bosses, are filled in with cathedral glass of two tints. The stone carving was done by Messrs. Earp, of London, and the wood by the builders. Adjoining the chapel on the north side is the sacristy, and there is easy communication from the dining-hall. The chapel, which is heated by Haden's hot-water apparatus, is erected on the site of the old domestic offices, and consequently new offices have been built for the servants. Under the chapel is a large lecture-room, with several four-light windows, which are also filled in with cathedral glass.

Incidentally we may mention that the proper name for the chapel is "the Wilberforce Memorial Chapel." In 1878 a tablet [18/19] commemorating this fact was fixed in the west wall of the chapel. It runs as follows:--

A. M. D. G.

The old chapel, under the roof above the dining-hall, which had never been consecrated, was now converted into a quiet reading-room. To the present time it still continues to be called the "old chapel," and in deference to its sacred associations in the minds of those first generations of students, silence is observed in it so far as is possible. The changes which took place in its fitting-up are described in the College Record, 1876:--

The old east and south windows are untouched, the oak reredos and decoration of the east wall still remain, and no unnecessary changes have been made. The two west lancets, now in the new chapel staircase, are replaced by the two double lancets surmounted by a trefoil-shaped window; the piscina has been removed to the new chapel, and the eastern platform reduced to a level with the rest of the floor. Where the organ (now in the lecture-room) [This organ has been for many years in the parish church at Brill.] used to stand is the hot-water coil; the stalls have been taken away, and the panelling, where needful, completed. There are now tables and chairs enough to make it a comfortable, and, as all who have used it can testify, most convenient room for work. On the walls are hung prints, some of which were once in the dining-hall: new books and pamphlets are placed for a time on the centre table, and all works of reference confined to the library, e.g. dictionaries, atlases, etc., are there ready for use, while any further decoration has been for a time postponed. It is not without interest to notice that this [19/20] conversion of the old chapel to its present condition is but the realisation of the plan which Canon King had sketched out and alluded to at the festival, so long ago as the year 1865. Over and above its advantages offered to the residents of the College, it will be found of the greatest service to any old students who may visit us, either when preparing for the priesthood or at other times, especially when the College is too full to give them a sitting-room, and they need a quieter place for reading than the common-room is usually found by those who have tried to read there. The rule of silence is enjoined on those who use it, and letter writing is strictly forbidden.

Since this change new book-shelves have been added from time to time, giving the room more the appearance of a library; especially the shelves containing the magnificent collections of the Bollandist Acta Sanctorum, and other valuable works which have been bought from the money left by Dr. Liddon to the College for this purpose. There are other objects of especial interest in the reading-room. One is the marble memorial tablet to Dr. Liddon, placed beneath his portrait, at first on the west wall, afterwards (1896) moved to the north wall, near the seat which he occupied when he was Vice-Principal. The inscription upon it reads as follows:--

A. M. D. G.

Another interesting object is a pocket set of Communion vessels, used by General Gordon at the time when he was in the Holy Land. They came into the possession of the College as a bequest from the Rev. Alfred Gurney, late Vicar of S. Barnabas', Pimlico.

[21] Two notes left by him will best describe the gift. The first is an instruction to his executors: "For the Principal of Cuddesdon College. The sacred vessels that belonged to General Gordon. Herbert Drake (who was Gordon's chaplain when they were together in the Holy Land), Edward Russell (who gave them to me), and myself having been all trained for the ministry at Cuddesdon." The second note was enclosed in the box that contained the vessels: "This Communion plate was given by my aunt, Mrs. Russell Gurney, to General Gordon, when he started for Palestine. It was used by him when travelling there, his chaplain being the Rev. Herbert Drake (who died some years afterwards at Jerusalem). The Rev. E. F. Russell (of St. Alban's), when at Jerusalem in 1894, found it in the possession of a religious community, and purchased it, knowing only that it had been the property of Gordon. On returning to England, knowing my great devotion to the hero, he gave it to me.

"When I told my aunt this, she said to my great surprise, 'I gave it to Gordon.'"

Alongside the Gordon "relics'" are two bookcases known as the "Willis'" shelves, containing books on Foreign Missions. The original nucleus of these books was bought with a part of the money subscribed for the purpose of a memorial to Edward Willis. It was felt that a collection of missionary works would be a very appropriate memorial to the founder of the Oxford Mission to Calcutta.

To pass to the new chapel. Within a year after its opening the new chapel received further additions to its furniture and decorations. These are chronicled in the Record of the College for the year 1875-6:--

On Friday, August 20th [1875], the new organ, which has been erected in a gallery at the west end of the chapel, was opened, being played for the first time at Compline by the Rev. W. Neville. The organ, which is the gift of a former student of the College, has been built by W. Hill and Son, London, at a cost of £500, and contains the following stops: On the great organ, Open Diapason, Dulciana, Claribella, with stopped Diapason Bass, Principal, Harmonic Flute, [21/22] and Clarionet; on the swell organ, Bourdon, Open Diapason, Keraulophon, Lieblich Gedacht, Lieblich Flute, Piccolo, and Oboe; on the pedal organ, Bourdon. There are five couplers and four composition pedals. The larger pipes of the Open Diapason are arranged in front, and are of polished metal; the case is entirely of oak.

On the Eve of Easter Day the altar was vested for the first time with a new white frontal, a gift of the late Chaplain, the Rev. B. J. Puller, which has been worked at a cost of £50 by the Sisters of S. Mary's Home, Wantage. This is but one of the benefactions which the chapel owes to the same donor, who has enriched it also with two complete sets of altar linen worked by the Sisters of the Manor House, Holywell, together with a very handsome set of cruets for use at the Communion. Mr. Puller was also a large contributor to the Oxford Diocesan Wilberforce Memorial Fund.

In view of the above, it is a satisfaction to mention next the addition to the chapel of two stained-glass windows to the memory of the Rev. B. J. Puller, who died March 9th, 1875. The windows have been erected by the subscriptions of those who knew the late Chaplain at Cuddesdon, and are the work of Messrs. Clayton and Bell, London. The window on the north side contains representations of two fathers of the Greek, and that on the south of two fathers of -the Latin Church.

During the past term the first instalment of the reredos, consisting of coloured tiles and Derbyshire alabaster, has arrived, and been fixed in its place on either side of the altar; the central part, which is a triptych containing paintings by Messrs. Clayton and Bell, will, it is hoped, be put up before the festival. This also is a gift, the cost of it being defrayed out of a legacy bequeathed to the College in 1871 by the Rev. A. B. Starkey, a former student of the College, part of which has already provided the College with a fives court and enriched the library with a handsome edition of Migne's Patrologia.

The College Record for the next year, 1877, announces the completion of the triptych and the windows, and gives a fuller description of them:--

During the past year some further additions to the internal decoration and furniture of the chapel have been made. In the first place, the reredos, part of which, though in an unfinished state, was to have [22/23] been seen in the chapel at the last festival, has been now completed. It is a triptych of solid oak, with paintings upon it by Messrs. Clayton and Bell. The subject of the centre panel is the Crucifixion, figures being grouped around the cross: on the one side, the three Marys; on the other, S. John, S. Joseph of Arimathea, and the Centurion. On either side of the centre panel are smaller panels containing representations of the four Evangelists, with their symbols below them. The subject painted upon the wings of the triptych is the Annunciation, the angel being represented on one side, the Blessed Virgin upon the other.

All the windows in the chapel are now filled with stained glass, the offertories at the last two festivals having been devoted to that object. In the side windows are figures of Greek and Latin doctors; on the north, SS. Athanasius, Basil, Chrysostom, and Gregory Nazianzen; on the south, SS. Ambrose, Augustine, Gregory, and Jerome. The east window represents our Lord seated in glory, surrounded by saints and doctors of the Church; these are arranged in the side-lights in two tiers--female saints above, male saints below--in the following order, beginning on the north side: above, S. Etheldreda, S. Theresa, S. Hilda, S. Cecilia, S. Catherine of Siena, and S. Dorothea; below, S. Bernard, S. Dominic, S. Francis of Assisi, S. Francis Xavier, S. Thomas Aquinas, and S. Bonaventura. The windows are all the work of Messrs. Clayton and Bell.

Two handsome brass standards of twelve lights each, the work of Messrs. Jones and Willis, have been presented to the chapel. They were used for the first time, and formally dedicated to the service of God, on the Eve of the Feast of the Purification. They are memorial gifts, and bear the following inscriptions: upon the one, "Ad Gloriam Dei, et in Memoriam C. R. et A. S. W."; upon the other, "Haec dedicarunt Filius Patris et Frater Sororis Memoriae, 1876."

Hitherto we have been dependent upon the charity of kind neighbours for a processional cross at the festivals. This will be so no longer. A very handsome processional cross has been presented to the College by the students ordained at this Trinity season, one old student lately ordained joining with them in the gift. The cross will, it is hoped, be used for the first time at this festival. It is executed by Messrs. Barkentin and Krall from an antique design. The cross itself is of solid brass, engraved. At the extremities of the four arms are medallions, engraved with the symbols of the four [23/24] Evangelists, while in the centre is engraved the Agnus Dei. The cross stands upon a brass ball, round which is placed the following inscription: "A.M.D.G., Collegio Cuddesdonensi, grati dederunt XI Alumni. In Festo S.S. Trinitatis, MDCCCLXXVII." The staff is of wood bound with brass.

In the following vacation (June-July) the painting of the roof was carried out. In the August-September term the painting of the east wall was begun; and the whole was finished just before Christmas, 1878. These paintings were given by the Vice-Principal, Edward Willis, in memory of his sister. A tablet with inscription on the west wall of the chapel commemorates their completion. The work itself was carried out by Messrs. Clayton and Bell, but the choice of subjects and the arrangement of the pictures were due to the donor. The wonderful working out of the Theological College ideal in these pictures bears witness to the master-mind and the deep religious devotion of their designer. It may be truly said that in this great sermon, put before his eyes on the walls of his chapel, the Cuddesdon man may learn better than anywhere else both the scope and the spirit of the work which his College tries to carry out, and the source to which it goes for guidance and strength. The leading ideas of the frescoes are the training of a ministry, the spirit of sacrifice, and the grace of sacramental union with our Lord. The way in which these thoughts are applied and worked out is worthy of a high place among the conceptions of English sacred art in the nineteenth century. The frescoes deserve a close study, in which the description given of them by Mr. Willis himself is the best of guides. We would venture, in addition to what he says, to call attention to the striking parallels between the Old Testament pictures on the north wall and the corresponding New Testament pictures on the south wall.

[25] The Mural Paintings in the Wilberforce Memorial Chapel


Immediately to the left on entering the ante-chapel is "The Commission to S. Peter to feed the flock of Christ." Underneath is the text which, in the College Office Book, forms the short lesson for Ember Days: "Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou Me more than these? He saith unto Him, Yea, Lord; Thou knowest that I love Thee. He saith unto him, Feed My lambs" (S. John xxi. 15); "Dicit Simoni Petro Jesus: Simon Joannis diligis Me plus his? Dicit ei: Etiam Domine! Tu scis quia amo Te. Dicit ei: Pasce agnos meos."

On the opposite side of the west door is "The Martyrdom of S. Stephen," with the text underneath, "They stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep" (Acts vii. 59, 60); "Lapidabant Stephanum, invocantem et dicentem: Domine Jesu, suscipe spiritum meum. Positis autem genibus, clamavit voce magna, dicens: Domine, ne statuas illis hoc peccatum. Et cum hoc dixisset, obdormivit in Domino."

On the wall immediately opposite the entrance is "The Conversion of S. Paul."

The subjects of the ante-chapel, therefore, are the Priesthood, the Diaconate, and the Missionary Vocation: the dependence of the priestly office immediately upon Christ Himself, illustrated by the commission to S. Peter; the faith, zeal, and constancy even unto death demanded of the Christian deacon, illustrated by the martyrdom of the first Deacon, S. Stephen; the complete self-surrender needed in the missionary vocation, illustrated by the call of the great missionary apostle.


The tracery of the oak screen which divides the chapel from the ante-chapel is picked out in white and gold, with a few touches of vermilion. On the flat space above the arches are inscribed the names of the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, taken from the 11th chapter of the Book of the Prophet Isaiah, viz. "The Spirit of Wisdom, the Spirit of Understanding, the Spirit of Counsel, the Spirit of Might, the Spirit of Knowledge, the Spirit [25/26] of True Godliness, the Spirit of the Fear of the Lord"; "Spiritus Sapientiae, Spiritus Intellectus, Spiritus Consilii, Spiritus Fortitudinis, Spiritus Scientiae, Spiritus Pietatis, Spiritus Timoris Domini." Above this again is a text from the 43rd psalm, "I will go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy: yea, upon the harp will I praise Thee, O God, my God"; "Introibo ad altare Dei, ad Deum, qui laetificat Juventutem meam; confitebor tibi in cithara, Deus Deus meus."

Upon the seven panels of the organ above are painted angels upon a gold ground, bearing alternately musical instruments, and scrolls with the word "Alleluia" upon them.

On the panels of the stalls immediately below the screen are painted passion flowers and lilies alternately, upon a gold background.


The chapel itself and the mural painting being alike memorials, the texts on the walls, which are not immediately connected with any one particular subject, have reference to the Communion of Saints. The following text from the Book of the Revelation runs along under the wall plate on both sides, beginning at the north-west corner:--"Ideo sunt ante thronum Dei, et serviunt ei die ac node in Templo ejus, et Qui sedet in throno habitabit super illos. Non esurient neque sitient amplius, nee cadet super illos ocstus, quoniam Agnus, qui in medio throni est, reget illos et deducet illos ad vitae fantes aquarum, el absterget Deus omnem lacrymam ab oculis eorum" (Apoc. vii. 15-17).

Round the head of the east window is the Song of the Church Triumphant, "Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the Throne, and unto the Lamb" (Apoc. vii. 10); "Salus Deo nostro, Qui sedet super thronum, et Agno."

On the north and south walls, dividing the larger subjects from the smaller ones below, is the thanksgiving and prayer of the Church Militant: "We bless Thy holy Name for all Thy servants departed this life in Thy faith and fear. Grant them, O Lord, eternal rest, and let everlasting light shine upon them"; Benedicimus sancto Nomini Tuo, propter omnes famulos Tuos in fide et timore Tuo defunctos. Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat eis."


These are Scripture scenes from the Old Testament, illustrative of the ministerial vocation. Beginning at the west end, is "The Investiture of Aaron and his sons to the office of the priesthood," as [26/27] related in Exodus xxix. 5-9- The text underneath this picture is from Hebrews v. 4: "And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron "; "Nec quisquam sumit sibi honorem, sed qui vocatur a Deo, tamquam Aaron."

Next in order towards the east is "The Call of Moses at the Burning Bush," as related in Exodus iii. and iv. Moses, the shepherd of Jethro's sheep, is called by God to become the shepherd of His people. Moses is represented hiding his face, as "afraid to look upon God." He has taken his shoes off his feet, and has cast his staff upon the ground, which he is to take up again, no longer a mere shepherd's crook, but as "the rod of God," the staff of the shepherd of God's flock. The text below is from Exodus iv. 17: "Virgam quoque hanc sume in manu tua, in qua facturus es signa."

The next picture is "The Call of Isaiah," the subject being taken from the narrative in the sixth chapter of Isaiah. "Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: and he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged. Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me." The text here is: "Ecce tetigit hoc labia tua, et auferetur iniquitas tua et peccatum tuum mundabitur" (Isa. vi. 7).

The remaining three pictures on the north side represent the three great typical sacrifices of the Old Testament, referred to in the ancient English Communion office: "Wherefore in memory of His most blessed Passion, as well as of His Resurrection from the grave and glorious Ascension into Heaven, we offer to Thine illustrious Majesty of Thine own Gifts a pure offering, holy and undefiled, even the holy Bread of Eternal Life, and the Cup of Everlasting Salvation. Upon which vouchsafe to look with favourable and propitious countenance, and to accept as Thou vouchsafedst to accept the gifts of Thy righteous servant Abel, and the sacrifice of our patriarch Abraham, and that which Thy high priest Melchisedech offered unto Thee."

The first of these subjects, "The Sacrifice of Abel," is low down, close up to the east wall. It represents Abel praying before the altar on which his sacrifice, a whole burnt-offering of a lamb, is lying. . A ray of light streaming down from the glory above indicates the divine acceptance of the offering. Underneath are the words: "Fide plurimam hostiam Abel, quam Cain, obtulit Deo" (Heb. xi. 4).

[28] Above this is "The Sacrifice of Abraham." The scene here represented is not the actual sacrifice, but Abraham and Isaac mounting the hill of Moriah, Abraham carrying the fire and the knife, Isaac bearing the wood of the burnt-offering, as Christ His cross, and putting to his father the question written below: "Ecce, ignis et ligna: ubi est victima holocausti?" (Gen. xxii. 7).

The remaining subject on the north side is "The Sacrifice of Melchizedek." The scene represented is that described in Genesis xiv. 18, 19. The text underneath is Psalm ex. 4: "The Lord hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek "; "Juravit Dominus, et non poenitebit eum: Tu es sacerdos in aeternum secundum ordinem Melchisedech."


These are Scripture scenes exclusively from the New Testament, and are arranged so as to correspond in idea and teaching with those opposite to them on the north wall. Beginning at the east end, opposite the burnt-offering of Abel is "Christ in Gethsemane," represented as accepting the cup of suffering, and thus offering Himself in will, a whole Burnt-offering to the will of the Father. The text below is: "Calicem quem dedit mihi Pater, non bibam illum?" (S. John xviii. 11).

Opposite to Isaac, mounting the hill of Moriah and asking the question, "Where is the lamb for the burnt-offering?" is represented S. John the Baptist pointing the two disciples to Christ, and giving the true answer to Isaac's question in the words, "Ecce, Agnus Dei, ecce Qui tollit peccatum mundi" (S. John i. 29).

Opposite to Melchizedek, bringing forth bread and wine, is Christ, the true High Priest after the order of Melchizedek, instituting what S. Irenaeus calls "the New Oblation of the New Testament; which the Church, receiving from the Apostles, offers unto God in the whole world" (S. Irenaeus, book iv. chap. xvii. § 5, Oxford Translation). The text below is: "Hic Calix Novum Testamentum est in Meo sanguine; Hoc facite quotiescunque bibetis in Meam commemorationem" (1 Cor. xi. 25).

"The Washing of the Apostles' Feet" corresponds to the cleansing of Isaiah's lips with a live coal from off the altar: both purifications alike having been preparatory for the work of the ministry. The two principal figures in this picture are copied from a painting of the same scene by Fra Angelico, now in the Academy at Florence. Of [28/29] this picture Mrs. Jameson says: "Of all the painters who expressed the condescension of the Lord by the impression it produced upon those to whom it was sent, Fra Angelico stands foremost in beauty of feeling. Not only the hands, but the feet of poor shocked Peter protest against his Master's condescension. It is a contest for humility between the two: but our Lord is more than humble, He is lowly and mighty too. He is on His knees, but His two outstretched hands, so lovingly offered, begging to be accepted, go beyond the mere incident, as art and poetry of this class always do, and link themselves typically with the whole gracious scheme of Redemption. True Christian art, even if theology were silent, would, like the very stones, cry out and proclaim how every act of our Lord's course refers to one supreme idea" (The History of our Lord as exemplified in works of art, vol. ii. p. 16).

Underneath are the words of our Lord to S. Peter: "Si non lavero te, non habebis partem mecum" (S. John xiii. 8).

Answering to the call of Moses from being shepherd of sheep to be shepherd of the people of God, comes "The Call of the Apostles by Christ to be Fishers of Men" instead of fishermen on the lake of Galilee. The text is: "Venite post Me, et faciam vos fieri piscatores hominum" (S. Matt. iv. 19).

Opposite to the investiture of Aaron and his sons with the priestly vestments is depicted "The Descent of the Holy Ghost upon the Apostles" on the Day of Pentecost, by whom they were clothed, as it were, and invested with power from on high for the work of their high calling. The text below is: "Non vox Me elegistis, sed Ego elegi vos, et posui vos, ut eatis et fructum offeratis et fructus vester maneat" (S. John. xv. 16).


These are scriptural scenes, ten in number, from the gospel narrative of our Lord's passion. Inscribed beneath the whole series on the north side is a text from the prophet Micah: "Popule metis, quid feci tibi, aut quid molestus fui tibi? Responde mihi" (Micah vi. 3).

Corresponding to this on the south side is a text from the Lamentations of Jeremiah: "O vos omnes, qui transitis per viam, attendite et videte, si est dolor sicut dolor metis" (Lam. i. 12).

Below these texts again, in larger characters, are two petitions from the Litany: on the north side, "O God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy upon us, miserable sinners"; "Fili Redemptor [29/30] mundi, Deiitt, miserere nobis miseris peccatoribus": and on the south side, "By Thy Cross and Passion, by Thy precious Death and Burial, good Lord, deliver us"; "Per Crucem et Passionem Tuam, per pretiosam mortem et sepulturam Tuam, libera nos, Domine."

Above the several stations are inscribed the beatitudes, taken, with the exception of the last, from the Sermon on the Mount. The beatitudes are thus seen illustrated by our Lord Himself as He passes along the Way of Sorrows. Beginning from the north-west corner, we have Station I., Pilate washing his hands and pronouncing our Lord to be innocent, who is led away to be crucified; the text above, "Blessed are the pure in heart" (S. Matt. v. 8); "Beati mundo corde." Station II., the cross is given our Lord to bear; the text, "Blessed are they which are persecuted" (S. Matt. v. 10); "Beati qui persecutionem patiuntur." Station III., our Lord falls under the weight of the cross; the text, "Blessed are they that mourn" (S. Matt. v. 4); "Beati qui lugent." Station IV., our Lord meekly allows another to share His cross; the text, "Blessed are the meek" (S. Matt. v. 5); "Beati mites." Station V., our Lord comforts the weeping women of Jerusalem; the text, "Blessed are the merciful" (S. Matt. v. 7); "Beati misericordes."

Passing over to the south side of the chapel, we come to Station VI., where our Lord is stripped of His garment; the text, "Blessed are the poor in spirit" (S. Matt. v. 3); "Beati pauperes spiritu." Station VII., our Lord is nailed to the cross, and prays for His persecutors to the Father; the text, "Blessed are the peace-makers" (S. Matt. v. 9); "Beati pacifici." Station VIII., our Lord dies upon the cross: His hunger and thirst after the perfect fulfilment of His Father's will satisfied; the text, "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness" (S. Matt. v. 6); "Beati qui esuriunt et sitiunt justitiam." Station IX., our Lord is taken down from the cross. Station X., our Lord is laid in the sepulchre. Over these two stations the text is: "Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord" (Rev. xiv. 13); "Beati mortui qui in Domino moriuntur."


On the north side of the east window is represented the Tree of Life in Paradise, indicated as such by the figures of Adam and Eve painted upon the central disk. A scroll winds round the branches, on which is inscribed a text from the Book of the Revelation: "Qui [30/31] habet aurem, audiat quid Spiritus dicat ecclesiis; vincenti dabo edere de ligno vitae, quod est in Paradiso Dei mei" (Rev. ii. 7).

On the opposite side is the mystic Vine, round the branches of which a scroll is entwined with a text from the Book of Proverbs according to the Vulgate Version: "Sapientia aedificavit sibi domum, miscuit vinum suum, misit ancillas suas ut vocarent ad arcem et ad moenia civitatis" (Prov. ix. 1-3).

On the disk in the centre is a representation of the heavenly City of which the Lamb is the light. It has been well said that "the whole Bible is one long account of the preparation of the city of God." The final home of God's people is a holy city. The paradise lost is not to be the paradise restored. It is not a garden, but a city that awaits us. And in the last words heard by human ear from the lips of the risen and glorified Redeemer, the Bible gives us not only the far-off vision of this glorious city, but the hope of dwelling in it for ever. "Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have right to the Tree of Life, and may enter in through the gates into the city" (Rev. xxii. 14). (See The Garden and the City, by the Rev. Hugh Macmillan.)

The way from the garden to the city is indicated above: it is the way of suffering, the way of the Holy Cross; for, while the angels on the wall above the city bear emblems of glory--a banner, a chalice, palms, and crowns of victory, the angels above the garden bear the instruments of the Passion--the robe, the crown of thorns, the title, the hammer, the nails and spear. The uppermost angels are swinging censers full of incense, to indicate that Christian suffering and Christian victory are alike forms of worship, and are alike to be offered in adoration to "our God who sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb."

The following prayer, which was offered at the dedication of the paintings, will suggest some of the lessons which they are intended to convey:--

"O Lord God Almighty, Who didst put wisdom and understanding into the hearts of Bezaleel and Aholiab to work all manner of work for Thy Sanctuary, Who didst graciously accept from Thy people Israel offerings of blue and purple and scarlet and pure gold, and by the mouth of Thy servant David didst teach Solomon to adorn Thy Temple, accept these paintings which we offer to Thee, of Thy own gifts, and mercifully bless them to the edification of all who shall worship in this [31/32] house of prayer. Thou, Who didst call Moses at the Bush to be the Shepherd of Thy people, Peter and Andrew from their nets to be fishers of men, call, as Thou seest fit, those who here gather to prepare for Thy service; cleanse and purify them by Thy Holy Spirit, as with fire from Thine altar Thou didst touch Isaiah's lips, and with Thy own most holy hands didst wash Thy disciples' feet; and of those who shall be called, as was Aaron, to be priests, accept the offerings, as Thou vouchsafedst to accept the gifts of Thy righteous servant Abel, and the sacrifice of our patriarch Abraham, and that which Thy high priest Melchisedech offered to Thee. And grant that they who here behold the sacred scenes of Thy most Holy Passion may evermore yield themselves to Thee, as Thou, true Priest and Sacrifice, offeredst Thy Will a whole burnt-offering to the Father: so that refreshed continually by the Chalice of Thy Blood, and fed with the fruit of the tree of Life, they may, by the way of the Holy Cross, at length attain to that City, where they need no candle nor the light of the sun, for the Lord God giveth them light, and Thou, O True Lamb, art the light thereof, Who with the Father and the Holy Ghost livest and reignest ever one God, world without end. Amen."

The total cost of these early fittings and decorations in the chapel, amounting to £2,807 (windows, £400; reredos, £300; organ, £500; brass standards, £73; white altar frontal, £50; seats, £100; mural paintings, £1,384), was altogether met by private benefactors. From time to time down to the present the work of beautifying the chapel has been continued. In 1895 was added a new gradine designed by Mr. Eden. The work is in gilt relief on a terra-cotta ground. On three shields are represented the instruments of the Passion, with the inscription above them "Passio Christi conforta nos." Between the shields are oriflammes having the sacred monogram "IHS"; the rest of the background is scattered with fleur de lys. In the same year the electric light was installed in the chapel as in the rest of the College. In 1898 a former student of the College gave a most beautiful altar cross. The material of it is ebony overlaid with silver. The design, the work of Mr. Eden, is Byzantine in [32/33] character. At the ends of the two arms are written in relief silver letters "IC" and "XC"; at the head and the foot "NI" and "KA" = IhsouV CristoV, nika (Jesus Christ, victory).

In 1903, as part of the College memorial to Archdeacon Furse, two candlesticks were added of a design to match with this cross. They are also of ebony, the stems overlaid with silver lattice-work, and the crowns made of fretted silver plates riveted to one another. In 1899 the College memorial to Edward Willis took the form (in part) of further additions to the chapel, for which he had done so much. The cumbrous iron coverings of the hot-water coils in the sanctuary were replaced by painted gates, and the sanctuary was paved with black and white marble. A brass tablet placed on the west wall of the chapel describes the memorial in the following inscription:--


[This is an allusion to the other part of the Willis memorial, which was a collection of books (about 150 in number) on Foreign Missions, placed on the shelves mentioned above in the old chapel.]

About the middle of the same year (1899) another long-impending work demanded immediate attention. The floor of the chapel began to show alarming signs of instability. Already in 1879 it had been found necessary to support it by iron pillars resting on a base of masonry below the lecture-room. After the festival of 1899 it was examined and found to be quite unsafe. The [33/34] beams in some places were completely eaten away by dry rot, and the floor was simply held together by the solidity of the concrete. It was found necessary to put in a new floor altogether. The work was put into the hands of Mr. C. R. R. Clark, who paved the passage-way with black and white marble squares after the same design as the pavement of the sanctuary. The rest of the floor was paved with polished oak. Steel girders were substituted for the former wooden beams, and at the same time the decoration of the dining-room ceiling below was carried out. The latest additions to the chapel are the credence-table (designed by Mr. Eden), of dark oak with inlaid mother-of-pearl and woodwork on the front; a prie-dieu for the bishop's seat in the sanctuary; the two candlesticks (mentioned above) and a tablet commemorating the work of Archdeacon Furse at Cuddesdon. The inscription on the tablet was written by the present Bishop of Worcester. It runs as follows:--"Recordamini in Christo, fratres, Caroli Wellington Furse hujus seminarii olim Rectoris, qui pietate sincera, amore largo, acerrima mente, spiritu perfervido gratiam Dei celebrabat, splendorem Christi et ecclesiae testabatur. Natus A.S. MDCCCXXL, Collegio praeerat MDCCCLXXIIL-MDCCCLXXXIIL, obdormivit in Christo MCM. Det illi Dominus invenire misericordiam a Domino in illo die."

Next to the chapel and the old chapel, perhaps the part of the College which brings back the happiest memories to old students, is the common-room. Part of the original College and remaining still in its original use, with its rows of bookshelves and the bay-window overlooking the entrance gate, it will be remembered by all as the scene of many happy gatherings and a focus of the social life of the College. Amongst its treasures are the portraits of many of the past officers of the College. In the centre above the mantelpiece is a small portrait of the founder, flanked on either side by photographs of Dr. Liddon and Dr. King. Beyond these are [34/35] larger engraved portraits of Archdeacon Pott, the first Principal, and Dr. Liddon (taken in later life). Above the founder is his successor in the see, Bishop Mackarness, and by his side Mr. Swinny. In the bay-window are engravings of Archdeacon Furse (from the oil painting by Herkomer, presented to Mr. Furse on leaving the College) and Archdeacon Ducat. Over the doorway leading into the lecture-room (the old dining-room) is the splendid portrait of "the dear Principal,'" Bishop King, most beloved of all Cuddesdon names. It was painted by Mr. Richmond, given to the Bishop's mother by members of the College in 1876, and presented to the College by the Bishop when his mother died, in 1883. The words in which Mr. Furse acknowledged this gift at the festival of 1883 will be remembered by many Cuddesdon men who heard them. After referring to the recent death of Mrs. King, he said:--

"Dr. King had also done another thing characteristic of himself and his affection for the College. The noble picture by Richmond, which had been given by the students to his mother, lie now wished to be accepted by the College; and there it now hung on the walls of the common-room, and he (the speaker) looked on its presence as a real benediction to the place. Intrinsically the portrait was precious, being, he did not hesitate to say, the finest he had ever seen come from Richmond's hand, and bringing to the College a beautiful memorial of the best of mothers and one of the best of sons that they had ever seen together."

There are also engravings of Mr. Keble (presented by Sir John Taylor Coleridge) and Canon Carter in the common-room, and nearly the whole of one end of the room is taken up with the splendid though not quite complete set of Migne, Patrologia Graeca et Latina, bought with a part of the Starkey legacy in 1871 (see p. 53).

The other rooms of the College do not call for much description. The lecture-room has been twice changed since the foundation of the College. Originally it was the end room on the ground [35/36] floor. When the Wilberforce buildings were added to the College the large room underneath the chapel was used for lectures and the old room assigned to the organist. A reminder of its original purpose is still to be seen in the rows of rather sombre volumes (Calvin's works and the Parker Society collection of works of English Fathers) which adorn the shelves of the organist's room. The second change came in 1897, when the old dining-hall was found to be too small for the growing numbers of the College. In a more than usually full term (October, 1898) the lecture-room beneath the chapel was used for a time as a dining-room, and the change was found to be so much for the better in many ways that the new arrangement was continued. A great deal has since been done in the way of furnishing and decorating the new dining-hall. At first the bare stone walls and the ugly iron pillars supporting the chapel floor above and running down through the middle of the tables made the new room by no means an attractive or cheerful refectory. But when the chapel floor was condemned in 1899, and the dining-hall had a new ceiling, Mr. C. K.. R. Clark was asked to design a scheme for the decoration of the whole room. The ceiling was painted, the walls panelled in oak up to the level of the window-sills, the hot-water coils enclosed in oak cases with openwork fronts, and a lobby placed before the steps and door leading to the kitchen quarters. At the ends of the beams are shields with coats of arms painted on them representing in pairs (a) the Province of Canterbury, and the founder as Bishop of Oxford (these are also the College arms); (b) the two Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, for graduates of which the College is intended; (c) Archdeacon Pott (the first Principal) and Bishop Stubbs (Bishop of the diocese at the time the decorations were carried out). The result of Mr. Clark's work has been to give the College a very handsome and well-furnished room for its dining-hall.

[37] There remain now to be mentioned only the "colonies" of the College. In 1876 the number of students exceeded the twenty-one rooms available in the original building, and the house called Wellburne, on the Great Milton road below Mr. Gale's farm, was rented, and four students were told off to "colonise" it. It was as a kind of compensation for the many journeys to and fro in all weathers that the rule "no smoking indoors" was relaxed in the case of the "colonists." In 1878 a tumbledown blacksmith's forge at the corner opposite the churchyard gate was bought, and on its site was built "The Cottage," to which the four Wellburne students were moved, and Wellburne was given up. Along with them came Mr. and Mrs. Manley, the caretakers of Wellburne, those two faithful servants of the College, who are still in charge of the Cottage, well known and beloved by many successive "Cottagers.'" By the side of the Cottage was built a house for Mr. and Mrs. Belcher, "George," the butler, dear to the hearts of nearly thirty generations of Cuddesdon men for his ungrudging, never-wearying kindness and care, to whom the College owes a deep debt of gratitude for long and faithful service. In 1895 the quaint old house known as the Old Vicarage--which had been the Vicarage for two years before the present one was built, and had been temporarily occupied by students in Archdeacon Furse's time--was taken over by the College, and made into a second colony. The curate of the village had for some time lived there, and now room was found for three, and sometimes four, students as well. The new buildings at the College, of which the foundation-stone was laid at the Jubilee Festival, 1904, will probably make the Old Vicarage unnecessary. These new buildings have been for a long time a pressing need. Not only is the system of "colonies" found to be really a hindrance to the life of the College, but also for some time even our "colonies" cannot take in comfortably all whom we wish to admit. The actual number of students in the [37/38] College will only be increased by two or three at the most by the new buildings, but the advantages in the way of increased convenience, and of having all the students under one roof, are much appreciated by those who know the present arrangements. This addition to the College is to be carried out on the design of Mr. S. Slingsby Stallwood, the Diocesan Surveyor, who has drawn up his plans "after the manner of Street," so as to harmonise well with the older buildings. It will provide rooms for twelve students, and also (what at present exists only in name) a guest-room and a possible sick-room, besides other rooms for bath-room, lavatories, etc., which the present building is wholly without. The top floor will give us a much-needed extension of the servants' quarters.

This brings our account of the fabric up to date, including as well our immediate anticipations. We dare not venture to predict the future of our Graduate Theological College system. Such colleges are fast becoming recognised not as a luxury, or a "counsel of perfection" for the few who can afford it, but as an indispensable and vital necessity for all ordination candidates, supplying that which the Universities in the changed order of things can no longer supply, or at least can give no guarantee to supply. How far will the development affect the existing Colleges? Will the demand come for larger Colleges, or for more Colleges without increasing the size?

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