The Seraphic Press has just published a rare study of small episcopal churches, which was written by the late Metropolitan Georgius of Glastonbury when he was still a layman. The Ecclesiastical Underworld is the first systematic attempt to chart the origins and progress of the smaller episcopal churches which appeared in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It was originally serialised in a north London newspaper, The Bowes Park Weekly News in 1935, with a print run of just a few thousand. It is the progenitor of many later studies and therefore predates Brandreth’s Episcopi Vagantes and the Anglican Church (1947 & 1961) and Peter Anson’s Bishops at Large (1964) by many years.
Hugh George de Willmott Newman (1905-1979) was well known in and around Southgate, where he had been an active worker both in national and municipal politics and a regular lecturer & writer in the local press. He had either personally met or corresponded with a number of episcopi and, some three years after completing his series, he was himself ordained to the priesthood. His study begins with introductory sections on the Apostolic Succession, the nature of Holy Orders and the origins of some of the ancient Christian communities, such as the Nestorians and the Jacobites, as well as the Coptic, Ethiopic, Armenian and Old Catholic churches from which many of these successions derived. It also details the emergence of the work of Archbishop Alvarez in Ceylon, Archbishop Vilatte in America, Bishop Vernon Herford & the Evangelical Catholic Communion, Archbishop Mathew & the Old Roman Catholics, the Liberal Catholic schism and the Apostolic Episcopal Church under Bishop A.W. Brooks.
98 pp + illus. Paperback £8.
Copies can be obtained from Lulu.com