Donald Arden

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The Right Reverend
Donald Arden
Archbishop of Central Africa
Church Church of the Province of Central Africa
In office 1971 (elected)–1981 (resigned)[1]
Predecessor Oliver Green-Wilkinson
Successor Walter Khotso Makhulu
Other posts Bishop of Nyasaland (1961–1964 {name of see changed}); Bishop of Malaŵi (1964–1971 {see split}); Bishop of Southern Malaŵi (1971–1981); priest-in-charge of St Margaret's, Uxbridge (1981–1986); honorary assistant bishop, Diocese of London (1981–2011); honorary assistant priest, St Alban's, North Harrow (1986–2011)
Personal details
Born (1916-04-12)12 April 1916
Boscombe, Hampshire, United Kingdom
Died 18 July 2014(2014-07-18) (aged 98)
Romsey, Hampshire, United Kingdom
Nationality British-Australian
Denomination Anglican
Parents Stanley & Winifred
Spouse Jane Riddle
1962 (married)–2014 (his death)
Children 2 sons
Occupation missionary
Alma mater University of Leeds (BA)
Mirfield (ministerial formation)

Donald Seymour Arden CBE (12 April 1916[2]–18 July 2014) was an Anglican archbishop,[3] and campaigner for issues of justice and equality.


Arden was educated at St Peter's College, Adelaide and the University of Leeds. He was ordained deacon in 1939 and priest in 1940 after studying at the College of the Resurrection, Mirfield.[4] His first posts were curacies in Hatcham and Nettleden. In 1944 he joined the Pretoria African Mission, eventually becoming Director of the Usuthu Mission in Swaziland.

From 1961[5] to 1971 he was the Bishop of Nyasaland/Malawi – as Bishop of Nyasaland until Malawian independence in 1964 and as Bishop of Malawi thereafter.[6] When the diocese split in 1971, he became bishop of one of the two new dioceses as Bishop of Southern Malawi.[6] Also in that year, he became Archbishop of Central Africa,[7] and held both posts until retiring in 1980.

Having given up the archbishopric, Arden returned to the UK to become priest in charge of St Margaret's church Uxbridge, where he served from 1981 to 1986.

Arden had a great love of Africa and campaigned tirelessly for the rights of indigenous African people. Within the Church he made widespread provision for the education of indigenous black African priests, and campaigned for the appointment of indigenous bishops. It was a matter of pride to him that he was the last white Archbishop of Central Africa.


In retirement Arden served as an hononary assistant priest at St Alban’s Church in North Harrow, and as an honorary assistant bishop in the Diocese of London. He gave up these roles in 2011 and moved to Romsey, Hampshire, where he lived the final years of his life. In December 2011, Arden celebrated 50 years of episcopal ministry with his family at St Paul's Cathedral, London. He was consecrated (as Bishop of Nyasaland) on 30 November 1961.[8]

He died at home in Romsey, Hampshire on 18 July 2014, aged 98. His family announced that he would be cremated in an African banana leaf coffin on 31 July 2014.[9]


  1. ^ "Donald Arden". Church Times (#7898). 1 August 2014. ISSN 0009-658X. Retrieved 22 August 2014. (subscription required (help)). 
  2. ^ Arden, Rt Rev. Donald Seymour. Who's Who. 2014 (August 2014 online ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc. Retrieved 22 August 2014. 
  3. ^ NLA
  4. ^ "Donald Seymour Arden". Crockford's Clerical Directory (online ed.). Church House Publishing. Retrieved 30 November 2015.  (subscription required)
  5. ^ The Times, 8 September 1961, p.14, "News in Brief"
  6. ^ a b Anglican Diocese of Southern Malawi – History[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ National Church Institutions Database of Manuscripts and Archives[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ The Church Times #7760, 9 December 2011. p. 6
  9. ^ Diocese of London (2014-07-18). "Diocese of London | Bishop Donald Arden RIP". Retrieved 2014-07-25. 
Church of England titles
Preceded by
Frank Thorne
Bishop of Nyasaland
Succeeded by
as Bishop of Malawi
Preceded by
as Bishop of Nyasaland
Bishop of Malawi
Diocese split
New diocese Bishop of Southern Malawi
Succeeded by
Dunstan Ainani
Preceded by
Oliver Green-Wilkinson
Archbishop of Central Africa
Succeeded by
Walter Khotso Makhulu