Typescript Thesis on The Oxford Movement in a Manchester Parish

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Typescript copy of a Master of Arts thesis by the Reverend Harold Edwin Sheen, rector of St John the Evangelist, Miles Platting, Manchester. The thesis is entitled The Oxford Movement in a Manchester Parish, specifically relating to St John the Evangelist, Miles Platting and the prosecution of the Rector Sidney Faithorn Green under the Public Worship Regulation Act of 1874. It includes a letter from the author to the Librarian of the John Rylands Library, dated 31 January 1944.

Administrative / Biographical History

In 1833 a group Anglican clergymen and academics within the University of Oxford attempted to renew the Church of England through the revival of catholic doctrines and rituals. This attempt to stir the established Church into new life became known as the Oxford Movement. Prominent figures involved were John Henry Newman, John Keble, Richard Hurrell Froude, Charles Marriott, Edward Bouverie Pusey and Richard William Church. The group was also known as the Tractarians following the publication of a series of ninety pamphlets, Tracts for the Times (1833-41). They exerted great influence, doctrinally, spiritually, and liturgically on the Church of England and the wider Anglican Communion, in their aims to return to the beliefs and customs of the early, undivided church.

Harold Edwin Sheen was born in 1898 and studied theology at the University of Durham, before attending Chichester Theological College. He was ordained a deacon in 1922, and a priest in the following year. His first clerical post was as curate of St Peter Westleigh in the diocese of Manchester, from 1922 until 1926, when he moved to St Philip's Salford. From 1929 until 1947 he was rector of St John the Evangelist, Miles Platting in east Manchester. In 1941 he obtained an MA from the University of Manchester; his thesis was on the Oxford Movement and he appears to have aligned himself within the Anglo-Catholic strand of the Church of England. From 1947 to 1972 he was rector of Holy Trinity, Bath, and he oversaw the building of a new church to replace the one that had been destroyed by German bombing in 1942. He wrote a considerable number of books and pamphlets on religious subjects, many intended for use in religious instruction within schools and Sunday schools (see below). Sheen's last entry in Crockford's Clerical Directory appears in 1971-2 and he is reported to have died in 1972.

Conditions Governing Access

The manuscript is available for consultation by any accredited reader.

Acquisition Information

Donated to the John Rylands Library by Rev. H.E. Sheen in February 1940.


Description compiled by Jo Humpleby, project archivist, and John Hodgson, Keeper of Manuscripts and Archives, with reference to:


Published works by Harold Edwin Sheen include:

Geographical Names