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John Taylor (bishop of Winchester)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

John Taylor
Bishop of Winchester
DioceseDiocese of Winchester
In office1975–1985
PredecessorFalkner Allison
SuccessorColin James
Other postsGeneral Secretary, CMS (1963–1974)
Personal details
Born(1914-09-11)11 September 1914
Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom
Died30 January 2001(2001-01-30) (aged 86)
Oxford, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom
ParentsJohn Taylor & Margaret Irene née Garrett
SpousePeggy née Wright (m. 1940)
Alma materTrinity College, Cambridge
Ordination history
Diaconal ordination
Ordained byArthur Winnington-Ingram Edit this on Wikidata
Date18 December 1938 Edit this on Wikidata
PlaceSt Paul's Cathedral Edit this on Wikidata
Priestly ordination
Ordained byGuy Smith Edit this on Wikidata
Date29 September 1939 Edit this on Wikidata
PlaceSt Paul's Cathedral Edit this on Wikidata
Episcopal consecration
Consecrated byDonald Coggan Edit this on Wikidata
Date31 January 1975 Edit this on Wikidata
PlaceWestminster Abbey Edit this on Wikidata

John Vernon Taylor (11 September 1914 – 30 January 2001) was an English bishop and theologian who was the Bishop of Winchester from 1974 to 1984.

Education and family

Taylor was born in Cambridge — while his father (John) was Vice Principal at Ridley Hall — and educated at St Lawrence College (where his father was headteacher). He read English at Trinity College, Cambridge, then read theology and trained for the ministry at St Catherine's Society and Wycliffe Hall (where his father was principal) at Oxford, and the Institute of Education.[1]

His father was later Bishop of Sodor and Man; his mother was Margaret Irene née Garrett. Taylor married Margaret (Peggy) Wright on 5 October 1940, and they had three children.[2]

Priestly ministry

He was ordained in the Church of England: made a deacon by Arthur Winnington-Ingram, Bishop of London, at St Paul's Cathedral on 18 December 1938,[3] and ordained priest by Guy Smith, Bishop of Willesden, at St Paul's on Michaelmas (29 September) the following year.[4][N 1] He spent five years engaged in Christian ministry in England, (from 1938 to 1940 as a curate at All Souls, Langham Place, and then from 1940 to 1943 as curate in St Helen's the Diocese of Liverpool). He then felt drawn to overseas missionary work; unable to do so immediately because of wartime travel restrictions, he obtained a teaching qualification at London University.

In 1945, with the ending of World War II, he moved to Mukono, Uganda, as a missionary working in theological education. He returned to England in 1954 and worked for the International Missionary Council. In 1959 he became Africa Secretary of the Church Missionary Society, and in 1963 he succeeded Max Warren as its General Secretary, remaining in post until 1974.

Episcopal ministry

His nomination to the See of Winchester was announced 14 August 1974,[5] he was elected and confirmed that winter, consecrated a bishop by Donald Coggan, Archbishop of Canterbury, at Westminster Abbey on 31 January,[6] and installed at Winchester Cathedral on 8 February 1975.[7] He then served as Bishop of Winchester until his retirement on 28 February 1985,[8] succeeding Falkner Allison, an old-fashioned Evangelical much-loved by all parties within the diocese. He was the first priest to be consecrated directly to the See of Winchester since William Day in 1595, and was respected throughout the diocese and beyond mainly by liberals and modernists, but failed to gain the trust of Anglo-Catholics. A product of Wycliffe Hall, with connections with All Souls, Langham Place, he was nevertheless a liberal evangelical rather than a conservative one. When first consecrated, he initially caused some amusement by refusing to wear a mitre and ordering that it be carried in front of him on a cushion in processions. After that one occasion he reverted to custom and wore it.


The most notable of his books were The Go-Between God (1972) and The Christlike God (1992), both of which remain in print. Enough is enough (1975) was an early book of the environmentalist movement, making the theological case for resisting consumerism and looking after our planet.

  • The Primal Vision: Christian Presence amid African Religion (London: SCM 1963; New Edition, SCM Classics 2001)
  • The Go-Between God: The Holy Spirit and the Christian Mission (London: SCM 1972; New Edition, SCM Classics 2002).
  • For All the World (1966)
  • Enough is enough (London: SCM: 1975)
  • The Growth of the Church in Buganda: An Attempt at Understanding (1980)
  • Weep Not for Me: Meditations on the Cross and the Resurrection (1986)
  • The Christlike God (London: SCM 1992).
  • Bishops on the Bible: Eight Bishops on the Role and Relevance of the Bible Today (1994)
  • A matter of life and death (London: SCM 1986)
  • Kingdom Come (1989)
  • A Christmas Sequence and Other Poems (1989)

Posthumous collections:

  • The Easter God and his Easter People (2003)
  • The Incarnate God (2006)


  • Poet, Priest and Prophet by David Wood.


  1. ^ Who Was Who erroneously records that he was ordained deacon in 1956 and priest in 1957, whereas both Crockford's and the Church Times record 1938 and 1939, and these are consistent with his first curacy: 1938–1940.


  1. ^ "Taylor, John Vernon". Who's Who. 1920–2007 (December 2007 online ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc. Retrieved 25 June 2018. (subscription or UK public library membership required)
  2. ^ "Taylor, John Vernon". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/75441. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  3. ^ "Advent ordinations". Church Times (#3961). 23 December 1938. p. 711. ISSN 0009-658X. Retrieved 25 June 2018 – via UK Press Online archives.
  4. ^ "Ordinations". Church Times (#4002). 6 October 1939. p. 300. ISSN 0009-658X. Retrieved 25 June 2018 – via UK Press Online archives.
  5. ^ "New bishops for Lincoln, Winchester". Church Times (#5818). 16 August 1974. p. 1. ISSN 0009-658X. Retrieved 25 June 2018 – via UK Press Online archives.
  6. ^ "picture caption". Church Times (#5843). 7 February 1975. p. 1. ISSN 0009-658X. Retrieved 25 June 2018 – via UK Press Online archives.
  7. ^ "picture caption". Church Times (#5844). 14 February 1975. p. 1. ISSN 0009-658X. Retrieved 25 June 2018 – via UK Press Online archives.
  8. ^ "Bishop of Winchester to retire". Church Times (#6330). 8 June 1984. p. 1. ISSN 0009-658X. Retrieved 25 June 2018 – via UK Press Online archives.

External links


Christian Mission with John V. Taylor:

Church of England titles
Preceded by
Falkner Allison
Bishop of Winchester
Succeeded by
Colin James
This page was last edited on 19 March 2021, at 02:36
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