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Introduction

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 December 2023

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Summary

The new convocation

When Bishop Rowley Hill (1877-87) arrived in the Isle of Man, he found a diocese worn down by the conflicts and inertia which had resulted from the long and unhappy episcopate of Bishop Horatio Powys (1854-77). After three years during which the convocation had not met at all, everyone was ready for a change, and Bishop Hill, who was an energetic and convinced evangelical, seemed to many to be the man to provide it. Initially, Bishop Hill had been appointed in the expectation that he would become the first bishop of a diocese which would embrace the archdeaconry of Liverpool, and he hoped to persuade the islanders of the benefits which would accrue to them if they became part of a larger and much wealthier diocese. Unfortunately for him, neither the Manx nor the Liverpudlians saw it that way. The former did not want to be swallowed up in a larger whole, and the latter saw no reason to be tied to a bishopric in the middle of nowhere, merely because of its great antiquity. Before long, it became clear that the proposed expansion of the diocese would not work, but this did not discourage Hill, who continued his plans for revamping the Manx church and bringing it into line with the rest of the Church of England. Hill's evangelicalism was in tune with the dominant mood of the church at that time, which helped him to gain the confidence of both clergy and laity, which he needed if his proposed reforms were to take effect. He was also a competent administrator who wasted no time in taking important decisions, many of which were to prove enduring. Some of them indeed, have remained in place to the present day, and although his occupancy of the see was relatively brief, Rowley Hill can stand alongside Thomas Wilson and Mark Hildesley as one of the greatest leaders which the diocese of Sodor and Man has ever had.

When Bishop Hill took over the diocese, the Manx convocation was doing little more than listen to the bishop's annual charge (which was frequently provocative to the point of offensiveness, since Bishop Powys used it to attack his clergy) and receive the tithe account, which had been set up in line with the tithe commutation act of 1839.

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Publisher: Boydell & Brewer
First published in: 2023

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  • Introduction
  • Edited by Gerald Bray
  • Book: Records of Convocation
  • Online publication: 28 December 2023
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781805431978.002
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  • Introduction
  • Edited by Gerald Bray
  • Book: Records of Convocation
  • Online publication: 28 December 2023
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781805431978.002
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Introduction
  • Edited by Gerald Bray
  • Book: Records of Convocation
  • Online publication: 28 December 2023
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781805431978.002
Available formats
×