KENNION, George Wyndham (1845-1922)


KENNION, George Wyndham (1845-1922)
Anglican bishop of Adelaide
son of George Kennion, M.D., and Catherine, daughter of J. F. Fordyce, was born at Harrogate, England, on 5 September 1845. He was educated at Eton and Oriel College, Oxford, where he graduated B.A. in 1867 and M.A. in 1871. He was ordained deacon in 1869 and priest in 1870. He was an inspector of schools 1871-3, vicar of St Paul's, Hull, in 1873, and of All Saints, Bradford, in 1876. In 1882 he was chosen by Archbishop Tait to be the second bishop of Adelaide and was consecrated in Westminster Abbey on 30 November 1882. On 5 December he married Henrietta, daughter of Sir Charles Dalrymple Fergusson. Kennion arrived in South Australia early in 1883, and soon realized that more churches were needed in the rapidly-growing suburbs of Adelaide and in outlying country districts. He set to work to fill this need and personally visited all the centres in the colony. During his 12 years in the diocese many churches were built, considerable progress was made in the building of the cathedral, and the number of clergy increased from 50 to 75. In 1894 Lord Rosebery called him to the bishopric of Bath and Wells. There he found no lack of work and ruled the diocese with tact and wisdom. He had some difficulties with the extreme high church movement in the church, but though he allowed much liberty there were limits he would not allow to be passed. He had in early life been associated with the evangelicals, but became a moderate high churchman. He did not take a leading part in ecclesiastical affairs, but was an excellent chairman of the English committee on faith and order. He was lecturer in pastoral theology at Cambridge in 1899, and Ramsden preacher in 1901. He had a serious illness at the end of 1917 and resigned his see in August 1919. He died at Ayr on 19 May 1922.
Kennion was a man of fine physique and great vigour. Though not intellectually brilliant he was a good speaker, moderate and sympathetic in his views of ecclesiastical questions, with a great attraction for those with whom he worked and in particular men and boys. The Kennion Hall at Adelaide grew out of his concern for the welfare of the newsboys, and he preached conciliation in labour disputes, urging on employers that a generous proportion of their profits should be allotted to the men working for them. His great enthusiasm and zeal was helped by his faculty for doing the apt thing at the right time.
The Times, 20 May 1922; The Register, Adelaide, 22 May 1922; The Advertiser, Adelaide, 22 May 1922.

Dictionary of Australian Biography by PERCIVAL SERLE. . 1949.

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