When the history of Christianity in the 20th Century is written Trevor Huddleston will certainly occupy much space. A major figure in the battle against Apartheid in South Africa, his book Naught for Your Comfort (1956) changed the perception of liberal Westerners about what was really going on in that tortured land. Huddleston was an Anglican monk and thus subject to the rule of obedience. He was called back from South Africa when he was at the height of his intellectual and physical powers. He was made Bishop of Stepney but like too many clergyman was tainted by accusations of sexual impropriety as a result suffered to the limits of human endurance. In his retirement, he lived at the mother house of his order in Mirfield, Yorkshire but his last years were not happy ones as he faded from public attention and underwent periods of deep depression and uncertainty about his fundamental beliefs. Piers McGrandle's biography of Huddleston is ground breaking in its analysis of what makes men great. But it also brings the reader down to earth with a thud in showing how profoundly complex are the motivations of Christians who have wide influence.
As a study in human psychology, McGrandle raises issues which may be applied to many so called 'saints'. After the collapse of Apartheid, Huddleston was able to return to South Africa but never received the recognition that he thought he deserved and this also tortured him.
Table of Contents
Early days / Oxford / Priesthood/ Huddleston the monk / The horrors of Apartheid / Massai / Stepney / The Indian Ocean and its problems / Failure and Disillusion / The end
Piers McGrandle was until recently Deputy Editor of The Tablet. He now teaches at Downside school but continues to develop his career as a writer and journalist.