Guiding Principles

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When Bell resigned as Bishop of Chichester in 1957, he looked back on and, to a certain extent, gave an accounting of his labors in a farewell speech, which reveals the great importance justice and peace had for him as the church’s most important concerns at home and abroad:

It has been my aim to encourage a growing consciousness of what the church means, and what membership involves. I have stood for common order in Christ’s church … In the questions of international justice and world peace I am an ardent, though I hope neither an unreal nor too impatient, champion … I have worked and prayed and spoken right through my time in Chichester, going sometimes, … against the stream. I have spoken on these themes not only in convocations and church assemblies, but also in the House of Lords. I have risen in my place in Parliament in the belief that bishops, as spiritual peers, have a duty to make responsible contributions from time to time on public questions, not as party politicians, but as Christian men specially concerned with moral issues and the well-being of the nation as a whole (quoted from van der Bent, Bell, p. 33).

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