Gore, Charles, 1853-1932, Bishop of Oxford

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Gore, Charles, 1853-1932, Bishop of Oxford

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Charles Gore was born in London on 22 January 1853, the son of the Hon. Charles Alexander Gore, younger brother of the earl of Arran, and his wife Lady Augusta Lavinia Ponsonby, daughter of the earl of Bessborough. Educated at Harrow School and Balliol College, Oxford, he was elected a fellow of Trinity College in 1875 and was ordained deacon in 1876 and priest in 1878.

In 1880 Gore became vice-principal of Cuddesdon Theological College and in 1884 he became principal of Pusey House, a house of learning, teaching and pastoral care for undergraduates at Oxford. In 1887 he formed the Society of the Resurrection, a group of twenty one priests with Gore as the superior.

It was hoped that the Society would eventually lead to the formation of a religious community and in July 1892 this proved to be the case when Gore and five other priests founded the Community of the Resurrection, an Anglican religious order for men, at Pusey House.

In 1893 Gore became vicar of Radley and the Community relocated to Radley Vicarage. In 1894 he became a canon at Westminster Abbey and opened a branch house in London whilst the remaining brethren moved to Mirfield in Yorkshire and established what was to become the Community’s permanent home.

In 1902 Gore withdrew from the Community to become Bishop of Worcester. In 1905 he became Bishop of the newly created see of Birmingham, and in 1911 Bishop of Oxford.

He retired in 1919 at the age of 66 and went on to write a number of theological works; editing ‘The Reconstruction of Belief,’ in 1926, ‘A new Commentary on Holy Scripture’ in 1928, and publishing ‘The Philosophy of the Good Life’ in 1930. He also participated in the Malines Conversations in Belgium, a series of informal discussions exploring the possibility of reuniting the Church of England with Rome.

Politically radical, at Oxford Gore had become a supporter of trade unions and from 1889 he was vice-president of the newly formed Christian Social Union, a group that promoted social action.

He was also an advocate of theological liberalism and in the same year he was both editor and contributor to ‘Lux Mundi,’ a collection of essays by liberal Anglo-Catholic theologians which sought to marry Christian faith to modern intellectual developments.

Charles Gore died in London on 17 January 1932 at the age of 78.


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Community of the Resurrection (1892-)

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GB 193

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ISAAR(CPF): International Standard Archival Authority Record for Corporate Bodies, Persons and Families, International Council on Archives (2nd edition, 2003); Rules for the construction of personal, place and corporate names, National Council on Archives (1997).


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Alan Wilkinson, ‘Gore, Charles (1853–1932)’, in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford, 2004).

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Created by Sally-Anne Shearn, June 2015.
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