Ivor Watkins

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Ivor Stanley Watkins (10 November 1896 24 October 1960) [1] was an Anglican bishop who served in two posts between 1946 and his death.

Watkins was born in 1896 and educated at Hereford Cathedral School. During the First World War, he served in the Royal Army Medical Corps as a stretcher-bearer and was gassed. [2] He spent considerable time in hospital where he learnt the 3-card trick which he used to entertain children. [3] After the war he briefly attended the emergency ordination school at Knutsford [4] before gaining a place at Trinity Hall, Cambridge where he was awarded a degree in history and theology. He was made deacon on Trinity Sunday 1924 (15 June) at St John's Bedminster (his title parish) [5] and ordained a priest that Advent (21 December 1924) at Bristol Cathedral, both times by George Nickson, Bishop of Bristol. [6] Following a curacy in Bedminster, he rose steadily in the Church hierarchy, being successively Vicar of St Gregory’s Horfield, rural dean, then Archdeacon of Bristol before elevation to that diocese's suffragan bishopric as Bishop of Malmesbury. He was consecrated a bishop on All Saints' Day 1946 (1 November) at Westminster Abbey. [7] Watkins was considered for promotion to several diocesan bishoprics over the next ten years. He was regarded as a 'somewhat advanced' Anglo-Catholic. [8] When the vacancy at Wakefield arose in 1948, Clement Attlee, the prime minister at that time responsible for recommending nominations to bishoprics, wrote:

I do not consider this man suitable for appointment to a See. I think he is narrow-minded. [9]

Watkins' name was prominent to fill vacancies at Portsmouth in 1949, [10] Gloucester in 1953 [11] and Durham, Lincoln and Peterborough in 1955–1956. Archbishop Michael Ramsey, newly translated from Durham to York, wanted Watkins to succeed him at Durham but the Archbishop of Canterbury opposed the nomination. [12] Instead Watkins was appointed to Guildford. In his short time at Guildford, Watkins proved very successful. He 'won the hearts and minds of both clergy and laity by his active and diligent pastoral ministry. He died in office in 1960 aged 63. [13]

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  1. "In Memoriam: The Bishop of Guildford" . Church Times . No. 5094. 28 October 1960. p. 16. ISSN   0009-658X . Retrieved 12 June 2019 via UK Press Online archives.
  2. The Times obituary, 28.10.1960
  3. Church Times obituary, 28.10.1960
  4. Lambeth Palace Library, Tubby Clayton's mark book
  5. "Ordinations on Trinity Sunday" . Church Times . No. 3204. 20 June 1924. p. 741. ISSN   0009-658X . Retrieved 29 November 2019 via UK Press Online archives.
  6. "Advent ordinations" . Church Times . No. 3231. 24 December 1924. p. 743. ISSN   0009-658X . Retrieved 29 November 2019 via UK Press Online archives.
  7. "Consecration of four bishops" . Church Times . No. 4372. 8 November 1946. p. 677. ISSN   0009-658X . Retrieved 29 November 2019 via UK Press Online archives.
  8. Lambeth Palace Library, Fisher, 16.
  9. TNA PREM5/416
  10. Lambeth Palace Library, Fisher 61
  11. TNA PREM5/259
  12. Lambeth Palace Library, Fisher 182
  13. The Times, Tuesday, October 25, 1960; p. 13, issue 54911, col A, Bishop Of Guildford Obituary Rt. Rev. I. S. Watkins
Church of England titles
Preceded by Bishop of Malmesbury
1946 1956
Succeeded by
Preceded by Bishop of Guildford
1956 1960
Succeeded by