George Blyth

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For the politician, see George Blyth (MP).

George Francis Popham Blyth[1] (died 5 November 1914) was an Anglican bishop in the last decades of the nineteenth century and the first two of the twentieth.[2]

He was educated at St Paul's School[3] and Lincoln College, Oxford, and ordained in 1885.[4] After a curacy at St Mary, Westport, he spent 20 years in India and Burma[5] as a missionary (ending this part of his career as Archdeacon of Rangoon). In 1887 he was appointed the fourth Bishop of Jerusalem,[6] a post he held for 27 years. A Sub-Prelate of the Order of St John of Jerusalem, he died on 5 November 1914. He had become a Doctor of Divinity (DD).

During his ministry, as an Anglo-Catholic, he found himself unable to convert either Christ Church, Jerusalem (under the LJS) or St Paul's (Jerusalem, under the evangelical Church Missionary Society) into his episcopal church. Therefore, he founded the Jerusalem and the East Mission and purchased land outside of the Old City walls, and raised the funds to build what is today St. George's Cathedral, Jerusalem.[7] To raise funds for his own work he started the Good Friday Offering, still observed in the Episcopal Church of the USA.[8]

Unlike his predecessor Samuel Gobat, who had resorted to proselytising among Christians of other, mostly Orthodox denominations, legalised by the Porte by a ferman in 1850 issued under the pressure of the Protestant powers of Britain and Prussia, Blyth preferred missions among Jews and Muslims.[9] Proselytism among Christians had been criticised by proponents of the Anglican High Church faction. Blyth wanted to maintain good relations with the Orthodox churches.[10]


  1. ^ University Intelligence. Oxford, March 15 The Times Wednesday, March 16, 1887; pg. 10; Issue 32021; col D
  2. ^ National Archives
  3. ^ “Who was Who” 1897-2007 London: A & C Black, 2007 ISBN 978-0-19-954087-7
  4. ^ The Clergy List, Clerical Guide and Ecclesiastical Directory. London: Hamilton & Co., 1889
  5. ^ History of the BoCP
  6. ^ Diocesan web-site Archived August 8, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  7. ^ Miller, Duane Alexander (December 2007). "The Installation of a Bishop in Jerusalem: The Cathedral Church of St. George the Martyr, 15 April 2007". Anglican and Episcopal History. 76 (4): 549–554. Retrieved 15 November 2012. 
  8. ^ Bridgeman, Charles (1958). The Episcopal Church and the Middle East. New York: Morehouse-Gorham. p. 20. 
  9. ^ However, Ottoman law forbade Muslims to convert and missionaries to evangelise them.
  10. ^ Cf. Abdul Latif Tibawi, British Interest in Palestine 1800-1901: a Study of Religious and Educational Enterprise, London: Oxford University Press, 1961, pp. 237-255.
Anglican Communion titles
Title last held by
Joseph Barclay
Bishop of Jerusalem
1887 – 1914
Succeeded by
Rennie MacInnes