Philip Nigel Warrington Strong

1899- . Anglican primate in Australia. After service in World War I, he graduated from Cambridge in 1921 and was ordained the following year by Bishop Hensley Henson to serve in the diocese of Durham, in which he became in 1931 vicar of a Sunderland parish. Five years later he was consecrated as bishop of New Guinea, which in 1941 became the last land buffer between Australia and the Japanese forces. Bishop Strong, fifteen of his clergy, three laymen, and eighteen women missionaries chose to remain at their posts when the Japanese occupation came. The death in 1942 of eight missionaries and two Papuan Christians put a heavy burden on the heart and conscience of the bishop, but he devoted his energies unsparingly to the care of Papuan Christians and Australian soldiers alike, and was frequently exposed to great danger.

After the war Strong fostered the steady expansion of an increasingly indigenous church, and he was delighted in 1960 to consecrate a Papuan as assistant bishop: the first indigene anywhere in the Pacific to attain this office.

In 1962 Bishop Strong was elected archbishop of Brisbane, and in 1966 he became also primate of the Church of England in Australia, where his influence extended far beyond his own diocese, and was recognized when in 1970 he became a Knight Commander of the British Empire (KBE), a rare award for a churchman.