Charles Voysey (theist)

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Voysey photographed in the 1860s
"I have much to be thankful for"
As depicted by James Tissot in Vanity Fair, 21 October 1871

Charles Voysey (1828–1912) was a priest of the Church of England who was condemned by the Privy Council for heterodoxy and went on to found a Theist Church.

Voysey was sacked from a curacy of St Mark's, Whitechapel, having denied the doctrine of eternal punishment. He later became vicar of Healaugh near Tadcaster, Yorkshire, but soon ran into difficulties there. He was prosecuted by William Thomson, Archbishop of York, starting in 1869. He was summoned before the Chancery Court of the diocese of York for heterodox teaching and deprived of his living. He appealed to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council which gave its judgement in 1871:

The Appellant is charged with having offended against the Laws Ecclesiastical by writing and publishing within the diocese of London certain sermons or essays, collected together in parts and volumes, the whole being designated by the title of "The Sling and the Stone," in which he is alleged to have maintained and promulgated doctrines contrary and repugnant to or inconsistent with the Articles of Religion and Formularies of the Church of England.

His appeal dismissed, Voysey lost his benefice. Moving to London, Voysey began holding services in St George's Hall, Langham Place, and founded the Theistic Church in Swallow Street, Piccadilly. He continued to preach and teach up to his death. He befriended Guy Aldred, the "Boy Preacher" in Holloway, in 1903.

His eldest son was the English architect Charles Voysey.