Feast of Churchill Julius (September 23)   Leave a comment

Above:  The Flag of New Zealand

Image in the Public Domain

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CHURCHILL JULIUS (OCTOBER 15, 1847-SEPTEMBER 1, 1938)

Anglican Bishop of Christchurch

Primate and Archbishop of New Zealand

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I am a Socialist because I find Socialism in every page of the New Testament.

–Bishop Churchill Julius, 1891

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Archbishop Churchill Julius comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via The Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia.

Archbishop Julius, born in Richmond, Surrey, England, on October 15, 1847, grew up in the Evangelical wing of The Church of England.  Our saint’s mother was Ellen Hannah Smith.  His father was surgeon Frederic Gilder Julius.  Our saint studied at various local schools before matriculating at the junior department of King’s College, London.  Then he studied at Worcester College, Oxford (B.A., 1869; M.A., 1873; D.D., 1893).

Julius went into ordained ministry.  He, ordained to the diaconate (1871) and the priesthood (1872), served first in England.  He was:

  1. the Curate of St. Giles, Norwich (1871-1973);
  2. the Curate of South Brent, Somersetshire (1873-1875);
  3. the Vicar of Shapwick (1875-1876); and 
  4. the Vicar of Holy Trinity, Islington (1884-1890).

Then Julius transferred to the Southern Hemisphere.  He served at the cathedral in Ballarat, Victoria, Australia (1884-1890).  Then, in 1890, he became the Bishop of Christchurch, New Zealand.

Above:  Archbishop Churchill Julius

Image in the Public Domain

Julius, always in the Evangelical wing of Anglicanism, harbored some High Church liberalism.  His experiences ministering in the Islington slum influenced his social progressivism.  In 1891, our saint pronounced that he was a Christian Socialist.  Indeed, Julius spent the rest of his life defending trade unions, labor rights, and workers’ rights to safe to working conditions.  These views were unpopular within the conservative corners of Anglicanism.

He also sympathized with the goals of the Prohibition movement in New Zealand.  Yet Julius initially opposed their tactics as being ineffective; he favored moral persuasion.  Given the unintended consequences of Prohibition in the United States, Julius was correct.  Then he was wrong, for he came to favor Prohibition.

Julius had a mix of liberalism and conservatism that will unsettle almost everyone in 2021.  He favored higher Biblical criticism.  Our saint supported the right of women to participate in the governance of the Anglican Church.  (I approve of the first two.)  Yet, in a racist turn, Julius opposed contraception, partially on the grounds that it would decrease the number of White people.  And he opposed secular, public education in New Zealand, in favor of denominational schools.  In 1899, Julius told the diocesan convention:

We regard the secularization as not merely indifferent, but actively hostile to religion.

On the other hand, this attitude fostered our saint’s vigorous support of parochial schools, denominational colleges, parochial day schools, and Sunday schools.

Julius, unlike some other Anglican bishops of his time, tolerated people from the other side of the Evangelical-Anglo-Catholic divide.  He permitted Anglo-Catholic ritualism in parishes and missions.  Our saint also permitted and encouraged the presence of religious orders in his diocese.

For years Julius lobbied for establishing a primatial see in New Zealand.  He wanted that see to be that of Wellington.  Our saint got his wish, sort of.  In 1922, he became the first Primate and Archbishop of New Zealand, while remaining as the Bishop of Christchurch.  Julius opposed the title “archbishop,” yet he was the first Archbishop of New Zealand.  Furthermore, the prospect of people addressing him as “Your Grace” appalled our saint.  Julius, Archbishop of New Zealand for only a few years, retired in 1925, after 35 years as the Bishop of Christchurch.

Julius married Alice Frances Rowlandson of Bouremouth, Hampshire, England, on June 18, 1872.  At the time, he was the Curate of St. Giles, Norwich.  The couple raised five daughters and three sons.  Alice was a deep introvert; her husband was an extrovert.  Alice was active in a range of organizations, but she also had fragile health.  Therefore, she was not as active in those organizations as she would have been otherwise.  That fragile health caused her death two decades before her husband shuffled off his mortal coil.

Julius, aged 90 years, died on September 1, 1938.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 22, 2021 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT DEOGRATIAS, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP OF CARTHAGE

THE FEAST OF EMMANUEL MOURNIER, PERSONALIST PHILOSOPHER

THE FEAST OF JAMES DE KOVEN, EPISCOPAL PRIEST

THE FEAST OF THOMAS HUGHES, BRITISH SOCIAL REFORMER AND MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT

THE FEAST OF WILLIAM EDWARD HICKSON, ENGLISH MUSIC EDUCATOR AND SOCIAL REFORMER

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Gracious God,

your servant Churchill Julius

won your people’s love and respect

by his faithful witness;

give us a like soundness of advice,

and a steadfast care for all in need;

through him who came among us

as servant of all,

Jesus Christ our Saviour.  Amen.

or

Jesus Christ,

heart and head of the Church,

we thank you for Churchill Julius,

worthy leader and archbishop in his generation;

may we build wisely

on the foundation he and his companions laid.  Amen.

Micah 6:6-8

Psalm 1 or Psalm 112

Philippians 4:4-9

Matthew 10:32-42

–The Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia

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