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Arthur Morris (bishop)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Arthur Morris
Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich
DioceseDiocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich
In office1954–1965
PredecessorRichard Brook
SuccessorLeslie Brown
Other postsBishop of Pontefract and Archdeacon of Pontefract (1949–1954)
Ordination1922 (deacon); 1923 (priest)
by William Wand
Personal details
Born(1898-02-20)20 February 1898
Died15 October 1977(1977-10-15) (aged 79)
Ipswich, Suffolk, United Kingdom
ResidenceHolbrook, Suffolk (at death)
ParentsE. H. Morris
SpouseEvelyn Woods (m. 1924; she d. 1953)
Childrenthree sons
Alma materFitzwilliam College, Cambridge

Arthur Harold Morris (20 February 1898 – 15 October 1977)[1] was an Anglican bishop in the 20th century.[2]

Education and family

Born the son of E. H. Morris (of Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire),[3] Arthur was educated at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, taking the degrees Bachelor of Arts (BA) and Bachelor of Laws (LLB) in 1920, and proceeding Cambridge Master of Arts (MA Cantab) in 1924. Morris went straight from school into the army, and was commissioned into the King’s (Liverpool) Regiment in 1916 and became a second lieutenant in 1917. After only 113 days, he was deemed unfit for service because of a heart defect possibly resulting from an attack of pneumonia in the spring of 1915. [4] This left him free to study and he trained for the ministry at Ridley Hall, Cambridge[3] and was ordained a deacon on Trinity Sunday (11 June) 1922[5] and a priest the next Trinity Sunday (27 May). He married Evelyn Ethel Woods in 1924 and they had three sons before he was widowed in 1953.[3]


Following his title post, as assistant curate of All Soul, Harlesden,[6] Morris' first incumbency was as Vicar of Great Clacton with Little Holland (1926–1930), after which he served the Church Pastoral-Aid Society as Metropolitan Secretary (from 1930). He then returned to vicaring, at St Mark's Hamilton Terrace[7] (in Marylebone, London, from 1933), later (1939–1946) also becoming Rural Dean of the St Marylebone area. He was as an RAF chaplain in World War II (1940–1945) and served, briefly, as a Proctor in Convocation for London in 1945. After the war had ended — in 1946 —, he became both Archdeacon of Halifax and a canon (of St Hilda) of Wakefield Cathedral, and was elected a Proctor for that diocese.[3]


In 1949, he was moved to a different archdeaconry and canonry of the same diocese and cathedral — Archdeacon of Pontefract and St Chad's canon[3] — and additionally appointed to the episcopate as the third Bishop of Pontefract, the bishop suffragan of the diocese.[8] His appointment to the suffragan See was approved in August 1949[9] and he was ordained and consecrated a bishop on All Saints' Day (1 November) at York Minster.[10] Morris was appointed Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich after it had been vacant for over one year. [11] The diocese had expressed a wish not to have an administrator like the retired bishop but ‘a man of God’. At that time, the Prime Minister was the key figure in the appointment process and, advised by Archbishop Fisher, eventually offered the post to Morris after it had been refused by the Dean of Bristol. In recommending Morris, Fisher wrote ‘His strength lies in his pastoral work. He is sensible, practical and devout, and though he is no great preacher or theologian, he commends himself to his flock by his character and disposition.’ Morris was installed at St Edmundsbury Cathedral on 22 July, 1954.[12] He was awarded the Lambeth degree of Doctor of Divinity (DD) the same year and entered the House of Lords as a Lord Spiritual in 1959.[3] Morris resigned in September, 1965, following a stroke. A measure of his success was that when it came to a choice of a successor, the diocese sought a ‘pastorally-minded’ bishop like Morris. Leslie Brown, Archbishop of Uganda, pastor and theologian, was appointed. [13]

In 1971, Morris wrote a short biographical note in which he described a diocese of nearly 500 parishes. ‘I regarded my work definitely as a pastoral bishop and it was my hope that I should be able to visit all the clergy, understand their difficulties and help them in any way possible to do their work efficiently. In other words, I regarded myself as a friend to all’. [14] He died on 15 October, 1977.


  1. ^ Obituary — The Right Rev A. H. Morris The Times Monday 17 October 1977; p. 15; Issue 60136; col. F
  2. ^ Handbook of British Chronology, Fryde, E.B; Greenway D.E; Porter,S; Roy, I; Cambridge, CUP,1996 ISBN 978-0-521-56350-5
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Morris, Arthur Harold". Who's Who. 1920–2016 (April 2014 online ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc. Retrieved 12 April 2017. (subscription or UK public library membership required)
  4. ^ TNA, WO339/72676
  5. ^ "Ordinations on Trinity Sunday". Church Times (#3099). 16 June 1922. p. 638. ISSN 0009-658X. Retrieved 12 April 2017 – via UK Press Online archives.
  6. ^ "in memoriam: Arthur Morris". Church Times (#5984). 21 October 1977. p. 13. ISSN 0009-658X. Retrieved 13 April 2017 – via UK Press Online archives.
  7. ^ Church website
  8. ^ Wakefield Diocese web-site
  9. ^ "Bishop of Pontefract". Church Times (#4513). 5 August 1949. p. 511. ISSN 0009-658X. Retrieved 12 April 2017 – via UK Press Online archives.
  10. ^ "Church News: Personal". Church Times (#4524). 31 October 1949. p. 706. ISSN 0009-658X. Retrieved 12 April 2017 – via UK Press Online archives.
  11. ^ TNA PREM5/369
  12. ^ "New Bishop of St. Edmundsbury enthroned". Church Times (#4773). 30 July 1954. p. 575. ISSN 0009-658X. Retrieved 13 April 2017 – via UK Press Online archives.
  13. ^ TNA. PREM5/494
  14. ^ University of Bradford Special Collections. Peary-Binns Papers
Church of England titles
Preceded by
Tom Longworth
Bishop of Pontefract
Succeeded by
George Clarkson
Preceded by
Richard Brook
Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich
Succeeded by
Leslie Brown
This page was last edited on 28 February 2021, at 20:41
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