Dictionary of National Biography, 1912 supplement/Body, George

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BODY, GEORGE (1840–1911), canon of Durham, born at Cheriton Fitzpaine, Devonshire, on 7 Jan. 1840, was son of Josiah Body, surgeon, by his wife Mary Snell. He was educated at Blundell's school, Tiverton, from 1849 to 1857, and subsequently entered St. Augustine's Missionary College, Canterbury. But his intention of undertaking missionary work abroad had to be abandoned owing to ill-health. In 1859 he matriculated from St. John's College, Cambridge, and graduated B.A. in 1862, proceeding M.A. in 1876. Subsequently he received from Durham University the degree of M.A. ad eundem (1884) and that of hon. D.D. (1885). Ordained deacon in 1863 and priest the following year, he served successively the curacies of St. James, Wednesbury (1863-5), of Sedgeley (1865-7), and of Christ Church, Wolverhampton (1867-70). In these places he sought to bring the teaching of the tractarian movement home to the working classes and rapidly made a reputation as a mission preacher. Nominated rector of Kirby Misperton, Yorkshire, in 1870, he took an active part in the parochial mission movement. In 1883 he was appointed 'canon-missioner' of Durham by Bishop Lightfoot, and for twenty-eight years carried on fruitful mission work among the Durham miners.

Body's varied activities covered a wide area. He was proctor in convocation for Cleveland from 1880 to 1885, and for Durham in 1906, vice-president of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel (1890), and warden of the Community of the Epiphany, Truro (1891-1905). His sermons were remarkable for the directness and sincerity of their appeal, and he collected large sums for mission work. He was select preacher at Cambridge (1892-4-6 and 1900-4-6), and lecturer in pastoral theology at King's College, London, in 1909. He also acted as examining chaplain to the bishop of St. Andrews from 1893 to 1908. He died at the College, Durham, on 5 June 1911. He married on 25 Sept. 1864 Louisa, daughter of William Lewis, vicar of Sedgeley, who survived him with three sons and four daughters. A miniature painted by Mrs. Boyd is in the possession of Mrs. Hutchings, 11 Filey Road, Scarborough, and a black-and-white drawing by Lady Jane Lindsey belongs to his son, Mr. L. A. Body, of the College, Durham. In 1911 a memorial fund was raised for the maintenance of the diocesan mission house and of a home of rest for mission workers among Durham miners.

Body combined evangelical fervour with tractarian principles. Although he was a member of the English Church Union, his sympathies were broad, and his conciliatory attitude during the church crisis concerning ritualism in 1898-9 exercised a moderating influence on the militant section of the high church party. In addition to many separate sermons his published works, which were mainly devotional, included: 1. 'The Life of Justification,' 1871; 6th edit. 1884. 2. 'The Life of Temptation,' 1873; 6th edit. 1885. 3. 'The Present State of the Departed,' 1873; 9th edit. 1888. 4. 'The Appearances of the Risen Lord,' 1889. 5. 'The School of Calvary,' 1891. 6. 'The Guided Life,' 1893; new edit. 1899. 7. 'The Life of Love,' 1893. 8. 'The Work of Grace in Paradise,' 1896. 9. 'The Soul's Pilgrimage,' 1901. 10. 'The Good Shepherd,' 1910.

[The Times, 6 June 1911; Guardian, 9 June 1911; Blundellian, June 1911; Eagle, Dec. 1911; private information.]

G. S. W.