19 MAY 1950, Page 5

The question of rebuilding the City Temple has its interest

for tens of thousands of people who are not Congregationalists. For that matter the building was not, I think, identified specifically with any one denomination, though it fitted better into the Congregational framework than any other. In the great days of Joseph Parker, with his thundering " God damn the Sultan," and R. J. Campbell, with his New Theology and his impressive white halo of hair—how strangely he faded from view when he moved over to the Church of England in 1916—the. City Temple stood almost unique among London places of worship for its catholicity. The nearest approach to it probably was the King's Weigh House under Dr. Orchard. Dr. Leslie Weatherhead, himself a Methodist, maintained the City Temple tradition well—raised it indeed from the rather low estate to which it had fallen—till the blitz swept the building away. A new Temple could probably still be well filled with people who come to hear a particular preacher, as Dr. Campbell Morgan used to fill Westminster Chapel, but as most of them would come from a distance it would be difficult to maintain a corporate Church life and Church activities effectively.

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