The Right Reverend Joost De Blank; papers, diaries, correspondence, sermons etc. (some microfilm)

Scope and Content

Documents comprise: diaries, index of correspondence, and notebooks 1941-1943; bound copies of Greenhill parish papers, 1948-1952; The London Diocesan Leaflet and The London Churchman 1950-1952, cuttings and scrapbooks on appointment to Stepney; book reviews 1952 - 1957; letters received on appointment to Cape Town; The Cockaigne, Bishop of Stepney's quarterly 1954 - 1955; papers and cuttings on appointment to Cape Town; Kaleidoscope 1961, printed circular to English friends; various personal papers, identity cards, etc.; scrap books, newspaper cuttings, may 1957 - Feb. 1960; cuttings, programmes and photographs re Church Congress, Cape Town 4 - 11 Nov. 1962; sermons and conference papers from U.S.A. visit 19-58; manuscript on visit to Transkei Jul. - Aug. 1959; papers from journeys to Rhodesia, England and America; diaries of visits to U.S.A. (1954), Canada and U.S.A. (1955 and 19-56), Cape Town (1957), Basutoland (1958), U.S.A. (1958), St. Helena, Freetown and Accra (19-59); diaries of visits to Natal and Lebombo (1960), Malta (1963); notes on churches visited in Diocese of Cape Town 1963; diary of engagements 1964 - 1967; correspondence re election to Hong Kong Bishopric 1966; index to letters received on retirement as Archbishop of Cape Town, 1963; folders of unsorted press cuttings, photographs and memoranda; typescript of autobiography Six Years Hard; typescript of The Return of the Sacred and related correspondence with publishers; manuscripts of lectures mainly delivered in the U.S.A., 1961; various sermons, retreat addresses, and sermon notes, South Africa and England; unsorted material collected by the late Bartha De Blank for her biography 'Joost De Blank: a personal memoir' (Boydell Press 1977): includes personal reminiscences from various people, and photographs; unsorted sermons (not microfilmed).

Administrative / Biographical History

Joost de Blank, born in Rotterdam of Dutch parents, was educated in England. He was ordained in 1932, and served as an Army chaplain 1939 to 1944. From 1948 to 1952 he was an Assistant General Secretary to the Student Christian Movement, before becoming Vicar of St. John the Baptist, Greenhill, Harrow. In 1952 he was created Bishop of Stepney. He succeeded Archbishop Clayton in Cape Town in 1957. In South Africa, he re refused to preach in any church not open to blacks as well as whites; and he opposed clause 29 of the Natives Law Amendment Bill, which gave the civil authorities powers to exclude non-whites from Anglican churches. In 1960 De Blank called on the Dutch Reformed Church to repudiate apartheid, and also he criticised the South African jubilee celebrations: `This is no' time for rejoicing, but for shame'. Ill health forced him to resign from Cape Town in 1963; he was appointed a Canon of Westminster Abbey. In 1966 illness prevented him from taking up a new appointment as Bishop of Hong Kong. He died in 1968.

Access Information

Quotation of personal and unpublished material, in particular from Box XIV, should be approved by the Director of the Centre or the University Librarian. Anyone proposing to undertake a substantial study should consult Mr Justin de Blank.


Originally published by Access to Archives - A2A. The data in this finding aid is in the copyright of the place of deposit.

Geographical Names