Henson’s articles in newspapers and weekly reviews

Julia Stapleton and Philip Williamson

Henson’s articles in newspapers and weekly reviews form the smallest part of his literary output, exceeded by his books and collected sermons, his published letters to newspaper editors, and his longer essays and articles. His concern that engagement in journalism could easily distract the writer from the clerical vocation, particularly at senior levels of the Church, might best explain this imbalance. Significantly, he had abandoned his role as ‘church correspondent’ for The Saturday Review when appointed canon of Westminster in 1900, probably due to a sense of conflict of interest.[1] His columns had been unsigned, indicating his belief that clergymen should approach the journalistic sphere with care. As bishop of Durham he wrote to a parson in his diocese who had been contributing regularly to a local paper. Such activity, he emphasised, was ‘right, or wrong, for Christ’s Minister – who is consecrated wholly to His service – just so far as he can honestly bring it into that service’. While he gave the parson his blessing, he warned of ‘temptations, which in many clerical journalists are quite evidently not resisted’.[2] The temptations he had in mind may have included the courting of popularity and the taking of partisan stances on public questions. His wariness of clerical journalism was also rooted in a concern that the clergy should not profit unduly from their literary ability, thereby bringing the Church into disrepute. His friend Ralph Inge, dean of St Paul’s, acquired a small fortune from his weekly columns in the Evening Standard from 1921 to 1946.[3] Henson accepted an invitation from the same newspaper to write a monthly column in 1925, but only in order to support repair work at Escomb Church in Durham – one of only three surviving Anglo-Saxon churches in England – and the ordination of a clergyman in the diocese whose family had limited means.[4] He ceased to write the columns in 1928 when these expenses had been met. He asked one of his correspondents to make known the purpose of his engagement in this lucrative trade, should he encounter any critics.[5]

The list below makes no claim to represent a full list of Henson’s journalistic articles; more items will be added as they are found.

The following list was compiled by Hilary Ingram

‘The society of Jesus’, Saturday Review, 14 Oct. 1899, 481-2
‘Archbishop Benson’s addresses’, Times Literary Supplement, 14 Mar. 1902, 66
‘Transitional theology’, Times Literary Supplement, 6 June 1902, 162
‘The early medieval popes’, Times Literary Supplement, 25 June 1902, 187
‘The last Sunday of 1902’, Daily Mail, 29 Dec. 1902, 2
‘Bishops and current thought’, Daily Mail, 5 Jan. 1904, 4
‘The moral miracle of the crucifixion’, Daily Mail, 1 Apr. 1904, 7
‘The prospects of Christian reunion’, Christian World, 16 Nov. 1905, 21
‘The meaning of Christmas: for the twentieth century’, Evening Standard, 24 Dec. 1904, 5
‘How to spend Christmas day’, Daily Mail, 25 Dec. 1908, 9
‘The revision of the prayer book’, Nation, 6 March 1909, 853-4
‘The Bannerman monument’, Daily Telegraph, 22 Jan. 1912, 12
‘The beginnings of dissent’, Times Literary Supplement, 18 Apr. 1912, 153
‘The Act of Uniformity’, Times, 24 Aug. 1912, 6
‘”Roman” tendencies’, Daily Mail, 2 Jan. 1914, 5
‘Episcopacy and reunion’, Times Literary Supplement, 30 July 1914, 363
‘M. Loisy and patriotism’, Times Literary Supplement, 18 Nov. 1915, 412
‘Dr. Henson’s reply to Bishop Gore’, Church Family Newspaper, 19 Nov. 1915, 5
‘The policy of the single front’, Christian Family Newspaper, 9 March 1917, 8
‘Reunion: political or evangelical’, Times, 17 Aug. 1918, 9
‘England free or England sober: the policy of prohibition a violent invasion of individual liberty’, Goulburn Evening Penny Post, 7 Feb. 1920, 5
‘A go-as-you-please church’, Spectator, 29 Sep. 1923, 413
‘Drink control’, Times Literary Supplement, 6 Dec. 1923, 843
‘Problems of the church: anxieties about the assembly’, Evening Standard, 3 Apr. 1925, 7
‘The parson in parliament: penalties of political activity’, Evening Standard, 8 May 1925, 7
‘Disestablishment and some aspects of church discontent’, Evening Standard, 10 June 1925, 7
‘The coal crisis: an explanation and a warning’, Evening Standard, 8 July 1925, 7
‘Evolution and the bible: can science and christianity be harmonised?’, Evening Standard, 28 July 1925, 7
‘Prohibition and freedom’, Westminster Gazette, 8 Aug. 1925, 4
‘The thirty-nine articles’, Evening Standard, 19 Aug. 1925, 7-8
‘Spiritual courts’, Evening Standard, 2 Sep. 1925, 7
‘The lure of Moscow: a paradox of labour’, Evening Standard, 22 Sep. 1925, 7-8
‘A talk on conferences’, Evening Standard, 8 Oct. 1925, 7-8
‘The decline of preaching’, Evening Standard, 3 Nov. 1925, 7
‘Science and religion: efforts to create harmony’, Evening Standard, 19 Nov. 1925, 7-8
‘Religion in the state schools’, Evening Standard, 9 Dec. 1925, 7
‘Hideous graveyards’, Evening Standard, 7 Jan. 1926, 7
‘A tax on betting’, Evening Standard, 3 Feb. 1926, 7
‘Fanaticism and childhood’, Evening Standard, 3 Mar. 1926, 7-8
‘Church legislation: parliament and the assembly’, Evening Standard, 25 Mar. 1926, 7
‘Modern motoring: its dangers and its virtues’, Evening Standard, 14 Apr. 1926, 7
‘Dean Inge’s teaching: a plea for spiritual religion’, Evening Standard, 26 May 1926, 7
‘A plea to labour: ‘class consciousness’ v. citizenship’, Evening Standard, 30 June 1926, 7
‘Prayer-book and people’, Times, 30 May 1928, 9
‘The bishops and the state’, Times, 11 Jan. 1929, 13
‘The need for disestablishment’, Times Literary Supplement, 29 Apr. 1936, 825
‘Mr. W. D. Caroe’, Times, 4 Mar. 1938, 16
‘Christian church and German state’, Spectator, 15 July 1938, 95
‘A war of ideologies’, Spectator, 2 June 1939, 949
‘William Chillingworth’, Times Literary Supplement, 29 Jan. 1944, 55

[1] Henson, Journal, 14 Nov. 1900.
[2] Henson to F. T. Salter (rector of St Hilda’s, Hartlepool), 18 Mar. 1926, in Braley, More letters, 45.
[3] William Ralph Inge (1860-1954), Oxford dictionary of national biography.
[4] Henson, Journal, 18 Mar. 1925; 12 June 1928.
[5] Henson, Journal, 23 July 1925.