The Times/1925/Obituary/Edward Francis Russell
The Rev. E. F. Russell
The death occurred at 7, Gray's Inn-square, on Saturday, at the age of 82, of the Rev. Edward Francis Russell, one of the devoted band who, with the Rev. A. H. Mackonochie, the Rev. A. H. Stanton, and later, the Rev. R. A. J. Suckling, for many years made St. Alban's. Holborn, the most conspicuous centre of the High Church party in London.
The Rev. E. F. Russell began work at St. Alban's under Mr. Mackonochie on his ordination in 1867, having previously graduated at Trinity College, Cambridge, and studied theology at Cuddesdon. Though without the force of Arthur Stanton, his fellow-curate, he had a spiritual power which was not inferior to his friend's, and his influence, though less obvious, was as deep and widespread. In the judgment of some, Mr. Russell was by both family connexions (he was the son of the late Lord Edward Russell, and a cousin of Mr. G. W. E. Russell) and personal character specially fitted for a ministry among the well-to-do residents of the West End, where his strong piety and self-sacrifice would have done much for the "upper classes." However, Russell determined to live and work nowhere else but in St. Alban's parish, and without a care for the world's favours he gave himself to each day's duty with unshaken loyalty to the Church of which he was proud to be a priest. Early in his ministry Mr. Russell desired to tend the bodies as well as the souls of the poor people among whom he worked, and with this end in view he became a medical student at St. Bartholomew's Hospital. A severe illness, however, prevented him from continuing his studies there, and with his labourious work at St. Alban's, he was obliged to restrict himself to his parish duties. But his time in the hospital was long enough to open up fresh interests for him and had an important influence on his work afterwards, for it brought him into close acquaintance with doctors, medical students, and nurses, and in this way he was able to render valuable assistance in the formation of the Guild of St. Barnabas for the benefit of nurses. This guild has now is members in every part of the world. For many years he acted as its chaplain, and also editor of the Misericordia, the guild's monthly paper. It was always a matter of regret to many of Edward Russell's friends that he did not find time to write more, as work from his pen showed a fine sense of form and amply proved him to be possessed of real literary gifts. Inspired by the friendship and example of Bishop Smythies, he became deeply interested in the work of the Universities' Mission to Central Africa, and served on its council for many years.
When he retired from his assistant curacy in 1917 a testimonial was presented to him by friends in every part of the country. The speeches on that remarkable occasion proved how greatly Mr. Russell's long and devoted ministry was appreciated by men and women of every class in the community. Even after he resigned his office at St. Alban's he continued to live near at hand and was always ready to be of service to others. The grace of a devout life has come to is calm and peaceful ending.
There will be a requiem at St. Alban's, Holborn, on Thursday.