Saturday, May 19, 2007

Studdert Kennedy

There had been but two rectors in seventy-five years [in Leeds], John Moultre and John Murray. Both were men of character, and the former something of a saint, after the quiet Anglican style, which means he was intensely venerated in his immediate locality and virtually unknown anywhere else. This was the man who died of smallpox, after a ministry of fifty years, while visiting a child parishioner in the epidemic of 1874. He was very greatly beloved, though he could be sharp when he wished, as when, an earnest evangelical lady saying she had sat under his ministry for many years and gained no good from it, he looked at her quietly for an appreciable time before saying, ‘I believe it, Madam.’ His successor, Murray, a stern Tractarian high-churchman, much feared in the town, with an untidy beard and a habit of drinking cold tea throughout the day, used in the latter days of his ministry to astonish visitors already impressed by his own antiquity by taking them along to see his mother, still briskly surviving.

From pg 57 of Woodbine Willie, a biography of G K Studdert Kennedy, by William Purcell, published 1962

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