- c 1950- c 2016 (Creation)
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1.17 cubic metres
29 boxes, 50 box files, 38 notebooks and unpackaged material.
Name of creator
John Stapylton Habgood was born on 23 June 1927, the son of Lieutenant-Colonel Arthur Henry Habgood and his wife, Vera Chetwynd Stapylton. He studied pharmacology at King’s College, Cambridge, before completing his theological training at Cuddesdon College, Oxford. He was ordained deacon in 1954 and priest in 1955.
His first curacy was at St Mary Abbots in Kensington, London, from 1954 to 1956. He then served as Vice-Principal of Westcott House, Cambridge, for two years before becoming rector of St John’s Church, Jedburgh from 1962 to 1967. In 1967 he became Principal of Queen’s College, Birmingham, now known as Queen’s Foundation.
In 1973 Habgood was appointed Bishop of Durham and in 1983 he was elevated to Archbishop of York, succeeding Stuart Blanch. Regarded by many at the time as a cautious liberal, Habgood had played a key role in the creation of the Alternative Service Book in 1980, simplifying Anglican worship, and had represented the Church of England in the British Council of Churches and the World Council of Churches. He was also a member and President of The Science and Religion Forum. As Archbishop he acted as arbiter between proponents and opponents of the ordination of women, masterminding the ‘flying bishops’ scheme in an effort to appease those who disagreed with their own bishops on the matter.
He was widely expected to succeed Dr Robert Runcie as Archbishop of Canterbury in 1991 but lost out to George Carey, a loss that has been attributed to the personal intervention of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. He retired from the Archiepiscopate in 1995 and was granted a life peerage as Baron Habgood of Calverton in the County of Buckinghamshire.
Archbishop Habgood’s publications include ‘Religion and Science’ in 1964, ‘Church and Nation in a Secular Age’ in 1983, ‘Confessions of a Conservative Liberal’ in 1988, ‘Faith and Uncertainty’ in 1997, and ‘The Concept of Nature’ in 2002.
He was married to professional pianist Rosalie Mary Anne Boston until her death in 2016. The couple have four children. Their son, Francis, is Chief Constable of Thames Valley Police.
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