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William Temple

William Temple (1881-1944)

This building is called the Temple Park Centre to celebrate the amazing achievements of William Temple who served as Archbishop of Canterbury during World War II.

As a child growing up, William Temple worked hard at school. As an adult he became a teacher and believed education was vital for all children because it offered them choices in life.

At the age of 28, he became a priest – the sort of priest who loved being with local people in the community but who also had a gift for thinking and writing about tricky questions of faith: ‘Where was God in the two World Wars?’, ‘Does evolution contradict Christian faith?’ and ‘Was Jesus resurrected in bodily form?’

In 1942, he wrote Christianity and Social Order. In this book, he set out six principles for social reform and urged Christians to join him in calling on the government to act on them. These principles included making sure every child had access to education and a decent home to grow up in.

William Temple believed passionately in different kinds of churches working together to bring about change. Therefore, it is entirely fitting that this building has always been a joint Methodist and Anglican church. Since 2013, it has been managed by the Manor Church and Community Project – an ecumenical initiative working with the Anglican, Methodist and United Reformed Churches to provide support and encouragement for local people.