Colin Morris (Methodist minister)

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The Rev'd Dr Colin Manley Morris (born 1929) is an English Methodist minister. Born into a mining family,[1] after his ordination he served the Methodist Church in Zambia then Northern Rhodesia) for 15 years. He stood out for racial integration within the church, became a close friend of the leader of the independence movement, Dr Kenneth Kaunda, and was closely involved in the formation of the United Church of Zambia soon after the country became independent.[2] He has always espoused an explicitly anti-racist and socialist position and argued that it represents the authentic spirit of Christianity.

After returning from Zambia, Colin Morris occupied prominent positions in British Methodism, becoming first the superintendent minister of Wesley's Chapel in London, and subsequently General Secretary of the Church's Overseas Division. He was President of the Methodist Conference in 1976-77.

From early in his career, Dr Morris has been a regular speaker on the BBC Radio 4 programme Thought for the Day, with a radical perspective and an instantly recognizable voice. For a period in 1971 he withdrew from the programme in protest against alleged representations by the Conservative Party Whips against his criticism on the programme of the party's immigration policy as un-Christian, an incident that caused questions to be asked in the House of Lords.[3] He was still contributing to Thought for the Day in 2009.

In 1978 Colin Morris moved out of the ordinary work of the Methodist ministry to work for the BBC, as head of TV Religious Programmes. He subsequently held the posts of Head of Religious Broadcasting, Special Advisor to the Director-General, and Controller of BBC Northern Ireland. Since retiring from management within the BBC he has continued to broadcast, presenting numerous religious programmes. From 1991 to 1996 he served as Director of the Centre for Religious Communication in Oxford.

As well as his broadcasting work, Colin Morris has been a prolific author of books and pamphlets. Most of his published work reflects either his experience as a white missionary in black Africa, or as an ordained minister working as a professional broadcaster.

Published books[edit]

  • Out of Africa’s Crucible. Sermons from Central Africa. Lutterworth, 1960.
  • Black government? A discussion between Colin Morris and Kenneth Kaunda. United Society for Christian Literature, 1960.
  • The Hour after Midnight. A missionary’s experiences of the racial and political struggle in Northern Rhodesia. Longman, 1961.
  • Church and Challenge in a New Africa: Political sermons. Epworth Press, 1964.
  • Include me out! Confessions of an ecclesastical coward. Epworth Press, 1968; Fontana, 1975.
  • Unyoung, uncoloured, unpoor. Epworth Press, 1969.
  • Mankind my church. Hodder & Stoughton, 1971.
  • What the papers didn’t say, and other broadcast talks. Epworth Press, 1971.
  • Epistles to the Apostle: Tarsus-please forward. Hodder & Stoughton, 1972.
  • The hammer of the Lord: Sign of hope. Epworth Press, 1973.
  • Word and the Words : The Voigt Lectures on Preaching. Epworth Press, 1975.
  • Bugles in the afternoon. Epworth Press, 1977.
  • Get through till nightfall. Fount, 1979.
  • God-in-a-box: Christian strategy in the television age. Hodder & Stoughton, 1984.
  • A week in the life of God. Epworth Press, 1986.
  • Wrestling with an angel. Collins Fount, 1990.
  • God in the shower: thoughts from Today. Macmillan, 2002.
  • Things shaken - things unshaken : reflections on faith and terror. Epworth Press, 2006.
  • Bullet point beliefs: The best of Colin Morris (Edited by Rosemary Foxcroft). Canterbury Press, 2007

Works about Colin Morris[edit]

  • A Humanist in Africa. Letters to Colin M. Morris from Kenneth D. Kaunda.. Longman, 1966.
  • Charlton, L. Spark in the stubble: Dr Morris of Zambia. Epworth Press, 1969.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Daily thoughts for a reluctant capitalist, Observer Cash, 29 October 2000
  2. ^ UCZ celebrates 40 years of union, Times of Zambia, January 2005
  3. ^ Hansard, 24 March 1971, Lords Sitting: Religious Broadcasting, Dr Colin Morris