THE P RTAL
March 2012 Edward King by Keith Robinson
St Stephen’s House King found himself a sort of
second generation member of the Oxford Movement, and maintained close friendships with several members of it, especially Edward Pusey and Hugh Parry Liddon. He was the principal founding member of the new Anglo-Catholic theological college, St Stephen’s House, in 1876.
In a masterly stroke,
King was appointed to the Bishopric of Lincoln in 1885. He immediately abandoned the rambling old palace of Riseholme , three miles north of the city, and moved into a smaller house in Lincoln itself. Tere he showed himself to be an outstandingly gracious and spiritual pastor to all his people, clergy, and rich and poor alike.
However, there was still a good deal of opposition to
the ideals of the catholic movement in the Church of England, (that characteristic turns out not to be a feature of our own times only!) and several organisations were set up to frustrate its purposes. It was through the auspices of one of these, the “Church Association”, that four men of his own diocese were able to bring a case against him for “ritual” improprieties.
Accusations Tere was considerable uncertainty as to who had the
right to hear the case. Te Archbishop of Canterbury, Edward White Benson, was not at all sure that he had, but upon being told that he was indeed the competent authority he proceeded to hear it.
Because the Archbishop found mostly in King’s favour, the complainants appealed to a Judicial Committee
EDWARD KING was born on 29 December 1829 into the very heart of the English church establishment, second son of the Archdeacon of Rochester , and grandson of a bishop of Rochester . Aſter graduating from Oriel College Oxford, he was ordained in 1854. Four years later he became Chaplain and Lecturer at Cuddesdon Teological College , and he served as Principal from 1863 to 1874. In that year he was appointed Regius Professor of Pastoral Teology, and a Canon of Christ Church.
of the Privy Council, but it substantially concurred with the Archbishop’s judgment.
Te case referred to just two
occasions when the Bishop had celebrated the Eucharist in churches of his own diocese. Te accusations may astonish us, but are surely worth recording.
Astonishing accusations Tere were eight points
in all: mixing water with wine in the chalice; admin istering the mixed chalice to the communicants; the use of ceremonial ablutions; adopting the eastward position at the Holy Table (a vast amount of research convinced the Archbishop that the
rubrics were deliberately ambiguous
on this point); so standing that the “manual acts” were not visible to the communicants; allowing two candles to be alight on a shelf behind the Holy Table; permitting the hymn “Agnus Dei” to be sung; and “making the sign of the cross in the air with his hand”!
Poor Bishop King! Yet the Lincoln Judgement is famously remembered
as a landmark in the history of the Anglican catholic movement. Tose who allowed themselves to see beyond such ritual excesses, found a holy and humble pastor, willing to go to great personal lengths to bring his people nearer to the Lord Jesus Christ, and the very fine bronze figure of him, which stands today to his memory in his cathedral church at Lincoln, is an eloquent testimony to his work and witness.
Edward King died on the 8th of March in 1910 .
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