Project Canterbury








New York


Digitized by Wayne Kempton
Archivist and Historiographer of the Diocese of New York, 2016



January 29, 1940.


On that Sunday evening in August of last year which was to have been the beginning of my four weeks' summer holiday, a train from Paddington thoughtfully halted for a few moments south of Oxford Station to give me a view of the cemetery. Then it carried me to a familiar platform unfamiliarly thronged with soldiers clad in a new form of battle-dress. Your first remark to me was, "Everybody's got the jitters; but perhaps even now it will not happen." I kept my thoughts to myself.

On the next morning we set out, according to programme, from Folly Bridge to Lechlade, in a punt that—save for pemmican and sleighs—was provisioned as though our destination was the North Pole (did you use the rifle?). Each night I returned to The Mitre; since, great though my affection is for you, I preferred a bed to the sharing of a hard punt with your six feet and several inches. The newspapers, that I was thus enabled to read, seemed to me to grow more and more ominous.

When the morning and evening were the fourth [7/8] day, we moored the punt to the flowered bank of a meadow above Tadpole Bridge. While you wrestled with the Primus stove, put bottled beer to cool in the river, and made other preparations for our evening meal, I switched on your portable wireless-set for the nine o'clock news. As I listened, old Father Thames slid softly by on his way to Bablockhythe and the ultimate sea, a water-hen paddled busily across the stream, the slow moon rose over lush fields steeped in eternal peace, a brown rat eyed me from the reeds. The anonymous voice, as of Gallio, continued its recital of news of the gravest character; and I knew that the fourth day of my summer holiday was its last. "I must go back to Haggerston," I said. "Yes, old man," you answered.

Before I left you, you said that you hoped that I would write the book which I had told you was in my mind. You added that, in the months that lay ahead, the writing of it would provide me with an occasional and salutary escape from war and its effects on even such an insignificant parish as mine. Not for the first time, I have followed your advice.

Gas-masks, air-raid alarms, barrage-balloons, blacked-out streets, a church so dark that on the sunniest day electric light is needed if one would see an altar, ration-cards, the departure of more and more young men whom I have known since their childhood into one or other of the Services, diminished congregations, most of the children removed to safer areas, the church funds overdrawn for the first time in my incumbency, old folks' faces thin and anxious, almost no news of anything but war [8/9] in newspapers and by the wireless: these, and other things, have not made easier the life of at any rate one East London priest. But, thanks to you, I have now and then succeeded in almost forgetting them.

So it is only proper that I should ask you to permit me the honour of dedicating this book to you.

You will realize that in it I have made no attempt to write biographies of the bishop and the five priests; but that, as perhaps the book's title suggests, I have only tried to narrate the tale of my personal contacts with six men to whom I owe great gratitude, since they had much to do, consciously or the reverse, with the moulding of my priesthood—not into what it is—but into what it should, and perhaps one day will, be.

You too knew three of them; and, maybe, are also in their spiritual debt. When you travelled to France between 1914 and 1918 you were one of those who were made welcome to the hospitable vicarage on the Leas (and do you remember ringing-in the new year with me at Ashford?). You also were not unacquainted with the clergy-house in Great Peter Street: it was under its roof that you slept before I said goodbye to you as you leaned out of a carriage-window in the leave-train as it drew out of Victoria Station; it was to that house that you returned from Hazebrouck, minus most of your equipment, when you and I sallied forth to Thresher and Glenny's to buy you a new officer's hat, the payment for which we could only complete with postage-stamps; and it was in no small degree due to the kindly master of that house that, when that [9/10] particular war came to an end, you secured the post which you still so elegantly adorn. You too knew and loved the old curate, of the large nose and the large heart, who went to Wapping before you were born, and who wished to live there to the end of his days.

In addition, there must be some of Dick's valiant blood flowing in your veins; the home and public-school, to which I have not been able to keep out occasional references, were yours too; and I think that you also do not wholly dislike my Haggerston (did we not spend together much of last Boxing Day morning sweeping masses of greasy confetti out of its verger-less church?).

And, as well as all this, you are my only brother. So why should I not ask you to accept this book with my love and gratitude?

Yours ever,

[11] SOME OTHERS, OF WHOM MENTION MAY BE FOUND IN THIS BOOK; LISTED ACCORDING TO THE FRENCH THEORY THAT THERE ARE THREE SEXES, MEN, WOMEN, AND CLERGYMEN , [*As the French say, there are three sexes—men, women, and clergymen. Lady Holland's Memoir. Sydney Smith.]

GEORGE Arthur, a knight; James Barrie, a knight; S. V. Benét, a poet; Bill, a verger; G. F. Bodley, an architect; Charles Booth, a social reformer; Robert Browning, a poet; Thomas Burke, a writer; W. Butterfield, an architect; G. Carleton-Jones, a surgeon-general; G. K. Chesterton, a writer; Winston Churchill, a politician; W. Cobbett, a writer; Charles Coburn, a singer: A. S. Cripps, a poet; S. Dark, a writer; C. R. Darwin, a naturalist; John Elgar, a verger; T. S. Eliot, a poet; R. W. Emerson, an essayist; L. Fox, a housekeeper; A. Guiterman, a poet; Hamlet, a prince; E. W. Hansell, a chancellor; N. Hawksmoor, an architect; E. Hemingway, a writer; B. L. Q. Henriques, a philanthropist; H. W. Hill, an E.C.U. secretary; A. Hitler, a dictator; S. Holmes, an inhabitant of Baker Street; Victor Hugo, a writer; T. H. Huxley, a biologist; Stonewall Jackson, a general; Tom King, a highwayman; Herbert, Earl Kitchener, a field-marshal; Hector Macdonald, a knight; Gerald du Maurier, an actor; Michael, a dog; Hugh de Montfort, a land-owner; A. Moore, a rubber-worker; Nero, an emperor; J. Olliffe, a clerk; F. B. Palmer, a newspaper-owner; C. S. Parnell, a politician; G. Peabody, a philanthropist; Peter the Painter, an English gangster; Rab, a dog; Scar-face Al, an inhabitant of Chicago; F. E. Sidney, a churchwarden; H. H. Slesser, a barrister; H. Llewellyn Smith, a knight; [11/12] R. L. Stevenson, a writer; Tarcisius, an acolyte; A. E. Taylor, a professor; G. Ticehurst, an assistant scoutmaster; C. H. Turner, a professor; Dick Turpin, a horse-stealer; Oscar Wilde, a poet; G. G. Williams, an educationalist.

Alexandra, a queen; Margaret Grafflin, a poetess; Rose Macaulay, a novelist; Mary, a queen; Mary Scharlieb, a doctor; Amelia Weston, a bishop's mother.

A. F. Asher; J. F. Briscoe; Rhodes Bristow; Fr. H. P. Bull, S.S.J.E.; Walter Carey, bishop; M. R. Carpenter-Garnier; C. Cator; Arthur Chandler, bishop; G. H. Clayton; A. H. Coombes; A. E. Cornibeer; J. B. Croft; Randall Davidson, archbishop; C. R. Deakin; St. C. G. A. Donaldson, bishop; Fr. W. H. Frere, C.R.; M. B. Furse, bishop; C. S. Gillett; R. E. Giraud; Charles Gore, bishop; H. L. Goudge; G. W. Hockley; Fr. J. C. H. How, O.G.S.; W. Walsham How, bishop; Fr. J. O. S. Huntington, O.H.C.; W. H. H. Jervois; J. Keatinge; K. E. Kirk; R. Knox; T. A. Lacey; P. H. Leary; W. V. Lucas, bishop; M. Mackay; A. H. Mackonochie; H. E. Manning, cardinal; H. Maynard-Smith; G. A. Michell; A. Montford; E. A. Morgan; J. H. Newman, cardinal; H. L. Paget, bishop; Arnold Pinchard; Leighton Pullan; D. Railton; G. C. Rawlinson; F. E. Ridgeway, bishop; H. Ross; H. E. Simpson; C. J. Smith; J. Taylor Smith, bishop; Sydney Smith; Darwell Stone; S. J. Stone; G. A. Studdert Kennedy; Fr. E. K. Talbot, C.R.; Fr. L. S. Thornton, C.R.; W. B. Trevelyan; F. L. Underhill; F. P. Vasey; W. L. Vyvyan, bishop; Fr. P. N. Waggett, S.S.J.E.; L. S. Wainright; J. E. Watts-Ditchfield, bishop; E. M. Milner White; N. P. Williams; Harry Wilson; A. F. Winnington-Ingram, bishop; W. Weston; N. Woodard.



P. F. TINDALL. Vicar of Ashford, Kent; Vicar of Folkestone, Kent; Honorary Canon of Canterbury Cathedral – page 15

M. E. ATLAY. Vicar of St. Matthew's Church, Westminster, London; Residentiary Canon of Gloucester Cathedral – page 31

FRANK WESTON. Bishop of Zanzibar – page 95

RICHARD WILSON. Vicar of St. Augustine's Church, Stepney, London – page 123

H. F. B. MACKAY. Vicar of All Saints' Church, Margaret Street, London; Prebendary of St. Paul's Cathedral, London; Residentiary Canon of Gloucester Cathedral – page 146

H. A. POLLOCK. Assistant Priest of St. Peter's Church, London Docks, London – page 173

Project Canterbury