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John Richard Humpidge Moorman (1905 - 1989), bishop of Ripon and ecumenist

Born in Leeds on 4th June 1905, John was the child of Frederic William Moorman (1872 - 1919) and his wife Frances Beatrice Humpidge (1872 - 1919). He went to Gresham's School, Holt and then studied at Emmanuel College, Cambridge obtaining in 1926 a second class in part one of the history tripos and in 1928 a second class in part one of the theology tripos. He gained his BD in 1940 with his work "The Sources for the Life of S. Francis of Assisi".

In 1929 he was ordained to the curacy of Holbeck, Leeds and in 1930 he married Mary Caroline Macaulay (1905 - 1995).

After Holbeck John went on to serve his second curacy at Leighton Buzzard between 1933 and 1935 at which time he was appointed rector of Fallowfield, Manchester. During WWII he resigned his benefice and took employment as a farmhand in Wharfedale, and during this period completed his work "Church Life in England in the Thirteenth Century" which, in 1945, resulted in his doctorate in divinity at Cambridge.

In 1945 he was appointed to Lanercost Priory, and in the following year he took on the work of reopening Chichester Theological College. Whilst restoring the college's fortunes he also served as chancellor of Chichester Cathedral. In 1953 he published "A History of the Church of England".

In 1956 he once again resigned his post, this time to concentrate on his Franciscan writings (he was to become a leading international expert on this subject).

In 1959 he became bishop of Ripon a post which he was to occupy for 16 years. Through his fluency of Italian and knowledge of church history he became a frequent visitor to the Vatican and in 1967 he became the Anglican chairman of the preparatory commission which led to the formation of the Anglican - Roman Catholic International Commission. Moorman was to be member of the commission from its foundation until 1981.

Moorman died on 13th January 1989 in Dryburn Hospital, Durham.