Bishop Gore

  • 7 Nov 2019
  • Church Curiosities
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Facing the Tewkesbury Road is the Loch Ryan Hotel, a fine late18th-century house that was once the residence of Bishop Gore, Bishop of Worcester from 1902 - 1905. He was the first Bishop of the 20th century and a socialist who refused to live in Hartlebury Castle, preferring to live in closer contact with his people. Unfortunately, just after his move, the city adopted the electric tramway system, which resulted in a junction of the London Road and Bath Road lines right outside his house. He found the noise unbearable and was forced to move to the Regency house in Lansdowne Cresent which is now called the Bishop's House. His young niece, Miss Diana Ogilvy, kept house for him and eventually became the first woman mayor of Worcester. Lady Ogilvy as she was known was a very kind and considerate lady, my late mother suffered from Rheumatic fever as a child and often Lady Ogilvy visited her at home and took her books to read during her recovery. 

Many clergy found his socialist views unpalatable. On the first Sunday after his enthronement as bishop, he snatched a brief interval between cathedral services for a scramble on the Malvern Hills, where he had roamed as a schoolboy. He took an ordinary 3rd class 'cheap return' from Foregate Street, travelling as one of the customary crowd of Sunday afternoon excursionists. It was very characteristic of him but many local clergy and churchgoers opposed the movement, and he was denounced at the Birmingham Congress by Father Ignatus, 'the seer of visions', who announced he had had  'a vision of Worcester Cathedral falling over'.

Bishop Gore stayed only three years, for he shaped the archdeaconry of Birmingham into diocese of Birmingham, leaving Worcester to become its first bishop, and devoting a large part of his personal fortune to it.