2017   Very Revd Jonathan Draper
2016   Revd Dr Lorraine Cavanagh (Acting)
2014 Professor Linda Woodhead  
2013 [vacant] Revd Guy Elsmore
2011 Revd Prof John Barton  
2002   Revd Jonathan Clatworthy
1997 Rt Revd John Saxbee  
1991   Revd Nicholas Paul Henderson
1990 Rt Revd Peter Selby  
    [Note 2]
1966 Very Revd Edward Frederick Carpenter  
1960   Revd Frank Edward Compton
1958 Rt Revd John Leonard Wilson  
1954   Revd Clifford Oswald Rhodes
1950   Revd Thomas John Wood
1942   Revd Robert Gladstone Griffith
1937 Sir Cyril Norwood  
1934 Very Revd Walter Robert Matthews  
1927   Revd Thomas John Wood
1924 Very Revd William Ralph Inge  
1923 Very Revd Hastings Rashdall Revd John Henry Bentley
1920   Mr Philip Henry Bagenal
1916   Revd Cavendish Moxon
[Note 1]
1915 Prof Percy Gardner  
  From around 1911 to his death in 1961 the organization was dominated by Henry Dewsbury Alves Major, editor of the Modern Churchman from its inception in 1911. Major was its primary spokesman who frequently articulated the Modernist programme.
1908 Sir Charles Acland  
1902 Revd Dr William Douglas Morrison  
1900   Revd William Manning
1899   Revd William Frederick Cobb (later Geikie-Cobb)
1898 Revd Prof George Henslow  


Revd Professor George Henslow (1835-1925) President of the Churchman's Union 1898-1902

George Henslow was the son of John Stevens Henslow now remembered primarily  as the Cambridge mentor of Charles Darwin. He was a medalist of Christ College, Cambridge,  graduating in about 1858.

Like his father George was a botanist. He endorsed evolution, though he promoted Lamarkism rather than natural selection, showing that plants were capable of adapting to environmental stresses.

In 1919 he was made vice president of the British Association for the Advancement of Science.

Francis Galton in Inquiries into Human Faculty and its Development cites some of Henslow's mental processes in ways which suggest he was a synaesthete (pp. 67, 82, 100, 115).

Read full biography


Revd William Frederick Cobb, (later Geikie-Cobb) Secretary of the Churchman’s Union 1899 - 1900

Rector of St Ethelburga the Virgin, London

Read full biography


Revd William Douglas Morrison (1852-1943) President of the Churchman's Union 1902-1908

William Morrison was born in 1852 in Newton, New Brunswick.

He was a prison chaplain between 1883 and 1898 and became a noted prison reformer building on this experience.

In 1898 he was awarded an LL.D by St Andrew's University. He was Rector of St Marylebone Church from 1908 to 1943.


Sir Charles Acland (1842-1919) President of the Churchman's Union 1908-1915

Sir Charles Acland, was educated at Eton College, and Christ Church, Oxford,  graduating in 1866 (B.A.; M.A 1868). Admitted to Inner Temple as Barrister 1869.  Lieutenant-Colonel in the 1st Devon Yeomanry Cavalry. Justice of the Peace Somerset and Devon.

MP for East Cornwall elected 1882 and 1892. Church Estates Commissioner, 1886.  Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade February - August 1886.

Deputy Lieutenant of Somerset and Devon. High Sheriff of Devon in 1903.

Read full biography


Revd Cavendish Moxon Secretary to the Churchman's Union 1916-1920

Cavendish Moxon was educated at Christ Church, Oxford, taking his BA in 1904.  That same year he entered Ripon Theological College. In 1906 he was deaconed and priested in 1907.

He was curate in the Church of St Andrew Stourton (1906-8) and thereafter  had a number of brief appointments: Eccles (1908-9); All Saints, Pontefract (1909-11);  St Peter, South Croyden (1911-12); St Marylebone (1912-14).  He was Rector of Marske in Yorkshire during the war (1914-1918)  and then at Christ Church Westminster (1918-20).

After this he appears to have left the country, or at least the ministry, and moved into psychology.  In 1960 he was in Sausalito, California.

Read full biography


  1. Moxon had previously acted as Assistant Secretary to Manning. Miss Dora Nussey and Revd J M Jeakes acted with Moxon as Hon Assistant Secretaries. Later Mr Llewelyn Preece took the place of Jeakes. Back

  2. Secretaries from 1960 to 1991 are a little unclear. In 1984 Edward Compton was Membership Secretary, Revd Peter Croft was General Secretary and Revd John Gutteridge was Conference Secretary. Revd Richard Truss succeeded Peter Croft in about 1987. Edward Compton continued as Membership Secretary until this was handed over to Philip Harratt. Back