When Bishop Middleton was consecrated first Bishop of Calcutta in the early nineteenth century to govern an episcopal see that stretched from Australia to South Africa, the Prince Regent is reported to have said to him: ‘Above all, no enthusiasm, my Lord, no enthusiasm.’ This of course, was shortly after John Wesley’s heroic endeavours among the horrors of the Industrial Revolution in England.
The worthy Bishop and the infinitely less worthy Prince Regent, however, would have been filled with horror had they seen one of the later fruits of the founding of that vast episcopal Province. In 1904 it was as a priest of the Church of England that Charles Freer Andrews first came to work in India for the Cambridge Mission to Delhi . For, as Professor Hugh Tinker makes clear in this biography, the guiding principle of Andrews’ life was the 47th verse of the third chapter of St Matthew’s Gospel which he himself translated as ‘What do ye to excess?’
The Church of England, during the period of Empire, normally followed the flag, and was largely a vehicle for reinforcing the idea of British superiority; nevertheless it has been one of its peculiar glories that it has thrown up a few great spirits, who by identifying themselves with the so-called