Monday, July 26, 2010

William Temple and his message

William Temple was an Archbishop from the start of the last century. He was interested in Christian Unity and Social reform. I have written about him before and have always found him interesting. I found a book about him on Saturday and it describes one of his earliest influences when he went to visit a missionary doctor in Bermondsey (Abbey Street):

 "The doctor's own methods were highly individual. The first time I visited the Club was during my second year at Oxford. I was taken to a basement room, where a crowd of some twenty people sat on benches round the wall; one corner was screened off. The doctor stood in the middle with myself just behind him, and preached with great directness for about five minutes. Then he turned abruptly and dived into the corner behind the screen, beckoning me to follow. We found a rickety table and three uninviting chairs. I sat on an end one and was given a pencil and a writing tablet; the doctor sat in the middle; on the other chair sat the patients, one after another. With each a conversation took place on the following lines. "Put out your tongue ... Where did you go to church last Sunday? ... Open your mouth ... Why not? Say ninety-nine ... Well I'll give you some medicine, but mind you say your prayers and go to church in the future." The gaps represent inarticulate replies, the patient being in an attitude prohibitive of speech; but the doctor knew the answers without hearing."

Going to doctor has changed now, can't help feeling this way would have been quite good fun.

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