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(from ODNB entry by G.S. Woods)
Body, George (1840–1911), Church of England clergyman, born at Cheriton Fitzpaine, Devon, on 7 January 1840, was the son of Josiah Body, surgeon, and his wife, Mary Snell. He was educated at Blundell's School, Tiverton, from 1849 to 1857, and subsequently entered St Augustine's Missionary College, Canterbury. His intention of undertaking missionary work abroad had to be abandoned because of ill health. In 1859 he matriculated from St John's College, Cambridge, graduating BA in 1862 and proceeding MA in 1876. Subsequently he received from Durham University the degree of MA ad eundem (1884) and an honorary DD (1885). On 25 September 1864 he married Louisa Jane (b. c.1837), daughter of William Lewis of Sedgley.
Body was ordained deacon in 1863 and priest the following year. He served successively as curate of St James, Wednesbury (1863–5), Sedgley (1865–7), and Christ Church, Wolverhampton (1867–70). Like other ‘slum priests’, such as Charles Lowder and G. R. Prynne, he sought to bring the teaching and practices of the Oxford Movement to the working classes, combining evangelical fervour with Tractarian principles. Nominated rector of Kirby Misperton, Yorkshire, in 1870 he took an active part in the parochial mission movement. In 1883 he was appointed canon-missioner of Durham by Bishop Lightfoot, and for twenty-eight years carried on successful mission work among Durham miners. He had a fine reputation as a mission preacher: his sermons were remarkable for their directness and sincerity, an appeal enhanced by a west country burr which he retained to the end of his life.
Body's varied activities covered a wide area. He was proctor in convocation for Cleveland from 1880 to 1885, and for Durham in 1906, and vice-president of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel (1890), and succeeded his friend Bishop G. H. Wilkinson as warden of the Sisterhood of the Epiphany, Truro, in 1891. He was select preacher at Cambridge (1892–6 and 1900–06) and lecturer in pastoral theology at King's College, London, in 1909. He also acted as examining chaplain to the bishop of St Andrews from 1893 to 1908. Although he was a member of the English Church Union his sympathies were broad, and his conciliatory attitude during the ritualist crisis of 1898–9 exercised a moderating influence on the militant section of the high-church party. He published many sermons and devotional works.
Body died at The College, Durham, on 5 June 1911. He was survived by his wife and his three sons and four daughters, among whom was (Mary) Agnes Body (1866–1952). A memorial fund was raised after his death for the maintenance of the diocesan mission house and a home for mission workers among the Durham miners.
For more information, see http://www.oxforddnb.com.ezproxy.library.yorku.ca/view/article/31945 .
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Created 2015-10-13 by Anna St.Onge.
G. S. Woods, ‘Body, George (1840–1911)’, rev. G. Martin Murphy, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 [http://www.oxforddnb.com.ezproxy.library.yorku.ca/view/article/31945, accessed 20 Feb 2016]