Edwin Morris (bishop)

Alfred Edwin Morris (8 May 1894– 19 October 1971) was the Bishop of Monmouth[1] and Archbishop of Wales[2] in the middle of the 20th century.
After World War I service with the RAMC he went up to St John’s College, Oxford. Ordained in 1924[3] he became Professor of Hebrew and Theology at St David's College, Lampeter,[4] holding the post until his elevation to the Episcopate.[5] A noted author [6] and Sub-Prelate of the Order of St John of Jerusalem,[7] he retired in 1967 and died four years later.[8] His papers are held at the Roderic Bowen Library.[9]

Edwin Morris
Archbishop of Wales
Alfred Edwin Morris.jpg
ChurchChurch in Wales
In office1957–1967
PredecessorJohn Morgan
SuccessorGlyn Simon
Other postsBishop of Monmouth
Personal details
Born(1894-05-08)8 May 1894
Died19 October 1971(1971-10-19) (aged 77)
Alma materSt John’s College, Oxford

A staunch defender of the Church in Wales, Morris attracted controversy when he said that "The Church in Wales is the Catholic Church in this land" and referred to Roman Catholic and Nonconformist clergy as being "strictly speaking, intruders" whose rights to function in Wales could not be acknowledged. He also campaigned against the retention of the word "Protestant" in the Coronation Oath, entering into detailed correspondence with the then Archbishop of Canterbury, Geoffrey Fisher, on the issue. He was unsuccessful, and Fisher even questioned whether such matters were really the business of a prelate who was "not a bishop of the Church of England". Nonetheless, Fisher (who had by then retired) and Morris were later among those senior clergy who objected to the proposed Anglican-Methodist reunion which was being mooted during the late 1960s and early 1970s, and they remained on friendly terms, with Fisher even saying that the new flurries of correspondence between them was "quite like old times". For all his claims of a Tractarian position however, Morris did not, it appears, always endear himself to those clergy who took a more Anglo-Catholic stance, he prohibited extra-eucharistic devotions to the Sacrament (such as Benediction) in his diocese and insisted that permission be sought before the Sacrament was reserved in a tabernacle or aumbry for use in giving Holy Communion to the sick. Although the basis for his faith and doctrine was undoubtedly the 1662 Book of Common Prayer, he oversaw as Archbishop of Wales the preparation of a new Order for the Celebration of the Holy Eucharist for use in the Church in Wales, and when, in 1966 this replaced the 1662 rite he commended it unreservedly, saying that the new rite brought "priest and people more effectively than does the Prayer Book service". The John Piper east window and mural at St Woolos' (Gwynllyw) Cathedral in Newport, Wales, were commissioned and installed during his episcopate.[10]


  1. ^ Ecclesiastical News New Bishop Of Monmouth The Times Saturday, 29 Sep 1945; pg. 6; Issue 50260; col B
  2. ^ Archbishop Of Wales Elected Dr. A. E. Morris The Times Wednesday, 6 Nov 1957; pg. 12; Issue 53991; col E
  3. ^ Crockford's Clerical Directory, 1947-48 Oxford, OUP,1947
  4. ^ “Who was Who” 1897-2007 London, A & C Black, 2007 ISBN 978-0-19-954087-7
  5. ^ “Alfred Edwin Morris – Archbishop of Wales” in The Journal of Ecclesiastical History (1991), 42 : 527-528 CUP
  6. ^ Amongst others he wrote "The Church in Wales and Nonconformity", 1949; "The Problem of Life and Death", 1950; "The Catholicity of the Book of Common Prayer", 1952; and "The Christian Use of Alcoholic Beverages", 1961 > British Library web site accessed 14:33 GMT Tuesday 13 April 2010
  7. ^ Archives hub
  8. ^ Most Rev Dr A. E. Morris Former Archbishop of Wales The Times Wednesday, 20 Oct 1971; pg. 16; Issue 58303; col F
  9. ^ Theological and Religious Studies Collection Directory
  10. ^ Peart-Binns J.S, 1990: Edwin Morris, Archbishop of Wales, Llandyssul, Gomer Press.
Church in Wales titles
Preceded by
Alfred Monahan
Bishop of Monmouth
Succeeded by
Eryl Thomas
Preceded by
John Morgan
Archbishop of Wales
Succeeded by
Glyn Simon