George Kennedy Allen Bell
Bishop of Chichester + Ecumenist
3 October 1958
From the Satucket Lectionary
George Kennedy Allen Bell (4 February 1883 – 3 October 1958) was an Anglican theologian, Dean of Canterbury , Bishop of Chichester, member of the House of Lords and a pioneer of the Ecumenical Movement.
After WW I, Bell became an outstanding initiator and promoter of the still-young ecumenical movement. In 1919, at the first postwar meeting of the World Council of Churches in the Netherlands, he successfully encouraged the establishment of a commission for religious and national minorities. At the world churches conference in Stockholm in 1925, he helped in the realization of the “ecumenical advice for practical Christianity (Life and Work)”.
In 1929 Bell was appointed Bishop of Chichester. In this role he organised links between his diocese and of workers affected by the Great Depression.
After 1933, Bell became the most important international ally of the Confessing Church in Germany. In April 1933 he publicly expressed the international church’s worries over the beginnings of the Nazis’ antisemitic campaign in Germany. … On 1 June 1934 he signed the Barmen Declaration, the foundational manifesto of the Confessing Church – it proclaimed that Christian belief and National Socialism were incompatibile and declaimed the pro-Nazi German Christians as “false teaching”.
During World War II Bell repeatedly condemned the Allied practice of area bombing. As a member of the House of Lords, he was a consistent parliamentary critic of area bombing. … Bell was also one of the first British bishops to protest against the inhumane treatment of approximately 14 million Silesian, Pomeranian, East Prussian and Sudeten Germans expelled from their homes in East Germany. … In the 1950s Bell opposed the atomic arms race and supported many Christian initiatives of the time opposed to the Cold War.
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