8 March
Edward King, Bishop of Lincoln, 1910

I know very little about Edward King. My interest in him was piqued by a chance remark of a Roman Catholic cleric, Ronald Knox, who said: "Of course I do not believe that no Protestant can go to Heaven. I have known many Protestants whom I firmly believe to be in Heaven, and I have known some that I believe went straight to Heaven without passing through Purgatory. Edward King is the one that comes first to mind." King appears to have made a similar impression on just about everyone who knew him. One writer calls him "the most loved man in Lincolnshire." The private letters of his contemporaries contain many testimonies to his personal holiness and to his loving concern for others. He sought out those whom the Church had failed to reach, and spoke with them about the Good News of God's love declared in Jesus Christ. Whenever possible, he did the work of a prison chaplain, speaking with everyone from pickpockets to murderers.

On one occasion he was caught up in the controversies of his day. Different parties within the Church had come to regard various ceremonial usages as a mark of where the user stood theologically, and Bishop King was denounced for his manner of celebrating the Liturgy. There were six counts, two of which were that he stood before the altar with his back to the congregation, and that he had lighted candles on the altar. A commission headed by the Archbishop of Canterbury tried him, and found for him on most of the counts, issuing a mild censure on the others. (It was ruled, for example, that one may have candles on the altar provided that they are there only for purposes of illumination.) As far as I know, no one in the Church today finds King's ceremonial practices objectionable.

From his sermons:

"It is not necessary to be always thinking directly of God. Indeed, it is not possible. Sometimes, of course, we ought to, and can do this, but at other times we must give our minds to what we are doing, even if it is playing and amusement. We may, of course, commit the chief periods of our time and of our occupation to God by a short prayer, as we do before and after meals, and before reading the Bible. So also before any study, and after any study, and such a word of prayer to bless our games that they may be innocent and refreshing to us, and those with whom we play. In this way we can carry out the words `I have set God always before me' and adopt the motto, Laborare est orare (to work is to pray). A brief prayer is also possible during work and play, but in the main you should be satisfied with commending your work or play to God, and then yourself into it heartily."