Mervyn Haigh

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The Right Reverend 
Mervyn Haigh
Bishop of Winchester
Diocese Diocese of Winchester
In office 1942–1952 (resigned)
Predecessor Cyril Garbett
Successor Alwyn Williams
Other posts Private Secretary to the Archbishop of Canterbury (1924–1931)
Bishop of Coventry (1931–1942)
Prelate of the Garter (1942–1952)
Personal details
Born (1887-09-14)14 September 1887
Islington, County of London, United Kingdom
Died 20 May 1962(1962-05-20) (aged 74)
Dolgellau, Gwynedd, UK[1]
Buried 26 May 1962, Winchester Cathedral[1]
Nationality British
Denomination Anglican
Parents Revd Canon William Edward Haigh & Janet Middleton[1]
Spouse unmarried[1]
Profession chaplain; lecturer
Education Clifton College, Bristol
Alma mater New College, Oxford
Ordination history of
Mervyn Haigh
Diaconal ordination
Date of ordination 1911
Place of ordination St Paul's Cathedral, City of London
Priestly ordination
Date of ordination 1912
Place of ordination St Paul's Cathedral, City of London
Episcopal consecration
Date of consecration c. 1931
Source(s): [1]

Mervyn George Haigh (14 September 1887 – 20 May 1962) was an Anglican clergyman who served as the third bishop of the restored see of Coventry[2] in the modern era and the 97th Bishop of Winchester in a long line stretching back to the 7th century.[3]

He was born on 14 September 1887, the son of an Anglican clergyman and was educated at Clifton College, Bristol[a] and New College, Oxford.[b]

After university he took Holy Orders and embarked on a clerical career that was to last for over 40 years. London curacies were interrupted by war service as an army chaplain in East Africa,[c] but on his return he rose rapidly in the church hierarchy. From 1919 until 1924 he was Chaplain and Lecturer at the Ordination Test School, in Knutsford, and Examining Chaplain to the Bishop of Llandaff but his big breakthrough came with his appointment to be the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Private Secretary, a post he was to hold under two separate incumbents until his elevation to the rank of Bishop in 1931.[d] He was appointed Bishop of Coventry, and served the diocese well especially during the terrible bombing of the city during World War II . In 1942 he was translated to Bishop of Winchester,[5] the enthronement taking place on 30 September that year.[6]

A deep thinker[7] and loyal monarchist,[8] Haigh chaired the Joint Committee which revised the Amended Lectionary.[9] He resigned his post in 1952 and was honoured by Winchester College[10] before retiring to North Wales where he became involved in several rural campaigns.[11] He died on 20 May 1962, his papers bequeathed to the nation.[12]


  1. ^ In later life he sat on the College’s Council, 1948–1961
  2. ^ Where he won the Ellerton Prize and gained a Cross Country Blue
  3. ^ Where he was mentioned in dispatches[2]
  4. ^ Following a hugely successful role organising the 1930 Lambeth Conference[4]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Haigh, Mervyn George". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/51168.  (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  2. ^ a b Bishop Haigh An Influential Churchman (Obituaries), The Times Monday, 21 May 1962; p. 12; Issue 55396; col D
  3. ^ List of Bishops of Winchester
  4. ^ The Times, Wednesday, 24 December 1930; p. 5; Issue 45704; col A The Church In 1930 Seventh Lambeth Conference, Episcopal Changes
  5. ^ Winchester Bishopric
  6. ^ Order of Ceremonial at the enthronement of the Right Reverend Mervyn Haigh, DD, Lord Bishop of Winchester, on Wednesday 30 September 1942- Classified at Lambeth Palace Library G119 44.42
  7. ^ "Mervyn Haigh" Barry, F.R: London, SPCK,1964
  8. ^ Sermon on the death of the king
  9. ^ "An introduction to the Amended Lectionary for Sundays and Certain Holy Days" Haigh, M.G. (ed.): London, SPCK, 1948
  10. ^ Ad Portas
  11. ^ Snowdonia National Park Joint Advisory Committee; Caernarvonshire National Park Planning Committee; Merioneth National Park Planning Committee The Times Monday, 24 September 1962; p. 18; Issue 55504; col C
  12. ^ National Archives


Church of England titles
Preceded by
Charles Carre
Bishop of Coventry
Succeeded by
Neville Gorton
Preceded by
Cyril Garbett
Bishop of Winchester
Succeeded by
Alwyn Williams