A Charming Man?


Patrick Ward writes…

I was in Oxford this weekend so I popped into St Mary’s Church where John Henry Newman was vicar before converting to Catholicism.  On the pulpit there was a plaque commemorating his time there, acknowledging the many sermons he preached.  I’ve copied the text from the plaque below.  An interesting insight, I think, into the character and charisma of the man:

Newman drew huge congregations to hear him preach.  As Matthew Arnold wrote: “Who could resist the charms of that spiritual apparition, gliding in the dim afternoon light through the aisles of St Mary’s, rising into the pulpit, and then in the most entrancing of voices breaking the silence with words and thoughts which were a religious movement, subtle, sweet, mournful?”

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