Free Online Bible Library | Robert Gray

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Robert Gray

1809-1872. First Anglican bishop of Cape Town. Born near Sunderland and educated at Oxford, he was consecrated in 1847. He found South African Anglicanism weak and disorganized. Under his leadership it developed into the Church of the Province of South Africa-an independent, disestablished province of the Anglican Communion with five synodically governed dioceses (1870). This was not achieved without difficulty. His High Churchmanship aroused antipathy. Some local Anglicans resented their loss of independence and opposed his introduction of synodical government. This conflict, and the case of J.W. Colenso,* led to costly and confusing litigation which overshadows his more positive achievements. Despite delicate health Gray traveled widely in his diocese and overseas, organizing the church, promoting missions, enlisting recruits, and raising money. He favored the appointment of missionary bishops to unevangelized areas and inspired the formation of the Universities' Mission to Central Africa. The tragic failure of Bishop Mackenzie's Zambesi mission was a great disappointment.