LEES, Harrington Clare (1870-1929)


LEES, Harrington Clare (1870-1929)
Anglican archbishop of Melbourne
eldest son of William Lees, J.P., Ashton-under-Lyne, England, and his wife, Emma, daughter of William Clare, M.D., was born on 17 March 1870. He was educated at the Leys School and St John's College, Cambridge, where he graduated B.A. with a second class in the theological tripos in 1892, and M.A. in 1896. He was ordained deacon in 1893, priest in 1894, and was a curate at Reading, chaplain at Turin and curate at Childwall, until in 1900 he became vicar of St John's, Kenilworth. Seven years later he became vicar of Christ Church, Beckenham, and in 1919 vicar of Swansea. In this year he was offered the bishopric of Bendigo but refused it. In August 1921 he was appointed archbishop of Melbourne, was consecrated at St Paul's cathedral, London, on 14 August 1921, and enthroned at St Paul's, Melbourne, on 15 February 1922.
Lees soon showed himself to be a vigorous worker and a good preacher. He was at Melbourne for less than seven years before he died, but his episcopate was marked by the undertaking of the completion of St Paul's cathedral, and by a great increase in the social work of the church; more especially in connexion with the various homes conducted by the mission of St James and St John, and the Church of England free kindergartens. He visited England in 1928 and died suddenly at Melbourne on 10 January 1929. He married (1) Winifred May, daughter of the Rev. J. M. Cranswick, and (2) Joanna Mary, daughter of Herbert Linnell. He had no children. His published works include: St Paul's Epistles to Thessalonica (1905), The Work of Witness and the Promise of Power (1908), The Joy of Bible Study (1909), The King's Highway (1910), St Paul and his Converts (1910), third impression (1916), Christ and his Slaves (1911), The Sunshine of the Good News (1912), The Divine Master in Home Life (1915) The Practice of the Love of Christ (1915), The Eyes of his Glory (1916), St Paul's Friends (1917), The Love that Ceases to Calculate (1918), God's Garden and Ours (1918), Failure and Recovery (1919), The Starting Place of Victory (1919). He was also a contributor to Hasting's A Dictionary of Christ and the Gospels. His portrait by Longstaff (q.v.) is in the chapter house at Melbourne.
Lees never spared himself and overwork was a contributing cause of his comparatively early death. He had bright personality and was much like by everyone, whether in an industrial parish like Swansea or as archbishop of Melbourne. At synod he was an excellent chairman, speaking little himself, but giving his rulings with decision. In the evangelistic tradition of the diocese, he belonged to no party and his ability, humanity and broad outlook, made him an excellent leader of his church.
The Argus, Melbourne, 11 and 14 January 1929; The Age, 11 January 1929; The Church of England Messenger, 25 January 1929; Crockford 1929; English Catalogue; Year-Books of the Diocese of Melbourne, 1922-9.

Dictionary of Australian Biography by PERCIVAL SERLE. . 1949.

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