Arthur Preston (bishop)

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Arthur Preston
Bishop of Woolwich
Diocese Diocese of Southwark
In office 1932 – 1936 (death)
Predecessor William Hough
Successor Leslie Lang
Other posts Vicar of Lewisham (1924–1933)
Canon Residentiary of Southwark Cathedral (1930–1936)
Archdeacon of Lewisham (1932–1936)
Sub-Dean of Southwark (1933–1936)
Ordination c. 1907
Consecration 1932
by Cosmo Gordon Lang
Personal details
Born 1883 (1883)
Died 19 July 1936(1936-07-19) (aged 52–53)
at sea
Buried Crowhurst, Surrey, United Kingdom
Nationality British
Denomination Anglican
Parents Reuben & Frances
Spouse Nancy
Children 3 daughters
Alma mater University College, Oxford

Arthur Llewellyn Preston (1883 – 19 July 1936)[1] was an Anglican bishop who served as the third Bishop of Woolwich[2] (a suffragan bishop in the Diocese of Southwark) from 1932 until his death.

Birth and education

Born in 1883 into a distinguished family — his brother Walter was the Member of Parliament for Mile End then Cheltenham between the wars — to Reuben and Frances Preston, and was educated at Charterhouse and University College, Oxford (he gained an Oxford Master of Arts {MA(Oxon)}). After a period at Oxford House, Bethnal Green, he started ministerial training at Wells Theological College in 1906;[1] he was ordained in 1905.

Early ministry

His title post (first curacy) was at St Mark's, Plumstead,[3] London (1907–1913), after which he was curate at St James the Great, Bethnal Green, London (1913–1917) and then Vicar there (1917–1922).[4] During World War I, he became an army chaplain (1915–1917); he moved from Bethnal Green to become Vicar of St James's Moor Park (Fulham, London; 1922–1924).[1]

Later ministry

Having married Nancy Ward (née Napier) in 1922 — they had three daughters —, from 1924 onwards, he was associated with Lewisham — firstly as Vicar until 1933, and additionally as a much-respected Rural Dean (1930–1932). In 1930, he was appointed a Canon Residentiary of Southwark Cathedral by Richard Parsons, Bishop of Southwark, and, in 1932, Archdeacon of Lewisham and a suffragan bishop of the diocese (as Bishop of Woolwich). He was ordained and consecrated a bishop on St Andrew's Day (30 November) 1932 by Cosmo Gordon Lang, Archbishop of Canterbury, in Southwark Cathedral.[5] In 1933, he became Sub-Dean of the Cathedral and his book 'The Parish Priest in his Parish' was published.[1]

Death and legacy

In 1936, he died whilst aboard his brother's yacht.[6] He was buried at Crowhurst, Surrey.[7] At his memorial service he was described by Priestley Swain, Bishop of Burnley as “A man of great gifts, one of the most thoroughly human persons I have ever known”.[8]


  1. ^ a b c d Preston, Arthur Llewellyn. Who Was Who. 1920–2016 (April 2014 online ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc. Retrieved 21 April 2017. closed access publication – behind paywall
  2. ^ Bishopric of Woolwich — The Vicar of Lewisham Appointed (Official Appointments and Notices) The Times Thursday, 3 November 1932; p. 12; Issue 46281; col. D
  3. ^ Details of parish Archived 21 August 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ History of church Archived 2008-08-21 at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ "Consecration of the Bishop of Woolwich (Archived; subscription only)". Church Times (#3645). 2 December 1932. p. 678. ISSN 0009-658X. Retrieved 22 April 2017. (Subscription required (help)).
  6. ^ The Bishop of Woolwich — Death in a Yacht (Obituaries) The Times Tuesday, 21 July 1936; p. 18; Issue 47432; col. D
  7. ^ "in memoriam. The Bishop of Woolwich. (Archived; subscription only)". Church Times (#3835). 24 July 1936. p. 95. ISSN 0009-658X. Retrieved 22 April 2017. (Subscription required (help)).
  8. ^ The Bishop of Woolwich — Tribute by the Bishop of Burnley The Times, Wednesday, 29 July 1936; p. 14; Issue 47439; col. E
Church of England titles
Preceded by
William Hough
Bishop of Woolwich
Succeeded by
Leslie Lang
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