Leslie Brown (bishop)

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The Right Reverend
Leslie Brown
Archbishop of Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi
Province Province of Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi
In office 1961–1965
Successor Erica Sabiti
Other posts Bishop of Uganda/of Namirembe
Assistant bishop in Oxford
Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich (1966–1978)
Consecration c. 1953
Personal details
Born (1912-06-10)10 June 1912
Died 27 December 1999(1999-12-27) (aged 87)
Denomination Anglican
Alma mater London College of Divinity

Leslie Wilfrid Brown CBE (10 June 1912[1] – 27 December 1999[2]) was Bishop of Uganda then Bishop of Namirembe and Archbishop of Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi,[3][4] before returning to the UK and later serving as Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich.[5]

Education and early career[edit]

Brown was educated at Enfield Grammar School[6] before studying for ordination at the London College of Divinity. After a curacy at St James, Milton, Portsmouth[7] he went out to the Diocese of Travancore and Cochin on the Malabar coast of India in January 1938, working there for the Church Missionary Society, and eventually becoming Principal of the Kerala United Theological Seminary.[8]

Episcopal ministry[edit]

In 1952 Brown accepted the post of Bishop of Uganda, despite having doubts because of his support for indigenisation.[9] He was to serve as a bishop in total for 25 years,[10] first as Bishop of Uganda (diocesan bishop of the Diocese of Uganda) until 1960, bridging the period of Ugandan independence, then as Archbishop of Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi, until 1965.

Upon the division of Uganda into separate dioceses in 1960, Brown remained in post, becoming diocesan bishop of a smaller diocese: the Bishop of Namirembe. The next year, he became Archbishop of the Province, which was initially named the Province of Uganda and Rwanda-Urundi, but soon renamed the Province of Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi. The three national churches were later to become three separate provinces, but remained a single provincial unit throughout Brown's tenure.

On his return to England, Brown became first an assistant bishop in the Diocese of Oxford, and then in 1966 the Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich. He retired in 1978, and lived in retirement in Halesworth, serving as an honorary assistant priest in the local parish church.

Academic interests[edit]

His lasting contribution is reckoned to be in the field of liturgy, first as a member of the liturgy committee of the Church of South India, which in 1950 produced the influential CSI Liturgy, then working on A Liturgy for Africa, produced in 1964, and also corresponding with the Church of England's Liturgical Commission.[11] He further assisted in the development of A United Liturgy for East Africa, published in 1966. A noted author, his history The Indian Christians of St Thomas, was described at the time of his death as "a classic textbook".[12][13]


  1. ^ Crockford's Clerical Directory 1975-76 London: Oxford University Press, 1976 ISBN 0-19-200008-X
  2. ^ Independent obituary
  3. ^ First Archbishop Of Uganda Dr. L. W. Brown Elected The Times Tuesday, Nov 08, 1960; pg. 10; Issue 54923; col E
  4. ^ National Church Institutions Database of Manuscripts and Archives
  5. ^ The Times, Thursday, Apr 07, 1966; pg. 14; Issue 56600; col B New Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich
  6. ^ Who's Who 1992 London, A & C Black, 1991 ISBN 0-7136-3514-2
  7. ^ Church web-site
  8. ^ “Three worlds, one word: account of a mission” Brown,L:Michigan, Collings,1981 ISBN 0-86003-614-6
  9. ^ Church Times obituary 14 January 2000
  10. ^ National Archives
  11. ^ Church Times obituary 14 January 2000
  12. ^ Church Times obituary 14 January 2000
  13. ^ “The Indian Christians of St Thomas”, 195682; Among other books he wrote “God as Christians see Him”, 1961; and “The King and the Kingdom”, 1988 > British Library web-site accessed Thursday 7 May 2009 19:04 GMT
Church of England titles
Preceded by
Cyril Stuart
Bishop of Uganda
Diocese split and renamed
Diocese split and renamed Bishop of Namirembe
Succeeded by
Dunstan Nsubuga
New title Archbishop of Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi
Succeeded by
Erica Sabiti
Preceded by
Arthur Morris
Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich
Succeeded by
John Waine