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Frederick Donald Coggan, Baron Coggan PC (9 October, 190917 May, 2000) was the 101st Archbishop of Canterbury from 1974 to 1980, during which time he visited Rome and met the Pontiff, in company with Bishop Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, future Cardinal of England and Wales.


Born in Highgatemarker, Londonmarker, Englandmarker, and educated at Merchant Taylors' School, Northwoodmarker and St. John's College, Cambridgemarker. He studied Oriental Languages from 1928 to 1931 and took a first in both parts of the tripos, achieving a rare and distinguished double first. Coggan then took up a post as a lecturer in Semitic languages at the University of Manchestermarker from 1931 to 1934, a professor of the New Testament at Wycliffe Collegemarker in Torontomarker from 1937 to 1944, and principal of London College of Divinity from 1944 to 1956.

Life and work

He was ordained a priest in 1935, appointed Bishop of Bradford in 1956 and translated to Archbishop of York in 1965. After his retirement as Archbishop of Canterbury he was granted a life peerage and made Baron Coggan, of Canterbury and Sissinghurstmarker in the County of Kentmarker.

His tenure as archbishop is noted for his strong support for the ordination of women (which did not happen in the Church of England until 1994), having proposed it at the Lambeth Conference of the world's Anglican churches in 1970. His comparatively brief tenure was marked by his boldness, orderliness and punctuality. Aside from his duties of his primacy, he was a prolific writer - his works including Call To The Nation (1975). He was also a speaker and preacher, often accompanied by his wife, Jean Braithwaite.

Among his other roles was being Honorary President of the United Bible Societies from 1957 to 1976. His excellent knowledge of the scriptures meant he made an enormous contribution to the furthering of the organisation. He also founded the Lord Coggan Memorial Fund which helped to supply Russian children with copies of the Bible.

Known for his warm welcome, he is commonly credited with remarking that "The art of hospitality is to make guests feel at home when you wish they were." (as quoted in 'A Gentleman Publisher's Commonplace Book' John Murray, Oct 1996)

Lord Coggan died in Winchestermarker, Hampshire. He was cremated and his ashes buried at Canterbury Cathedralmarker.


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