Just John

Just John

The Authorized Biography of John Habgood, Archbishop of York, 1983-1995

David Wilbourne


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John Habgood (1927-2019) was Archbishop of York from 1983-1995, and prior to that had served ten years as Bishop of Durham. His ability to mediate and solve what seemed impossible problems, both in the Church and modern society, is legendary. However, his formidable intellect and shy manner could make him seem a distant, enigmatic figure . . .

This biography, written at Lord Habgood’s request and with his full cooperation while alive, is warm, witty and affectionate. Nonetheless, as its title implies, it is a truthful portrayal of the man he was – guileless, flawed, just.

‘An absolutely beautiful piece of work which well catches Archbishop Habgood, the last Anglican theologian I used to make the walk to the Lords’ chamber to hear speak. Lord Habgood would smile with pleasure and amusement to read it.’ MATTHEW PARRIS

‘. . . all the sides of the astonishing man that was John Habgood are brought to life here with wit, poignancy, and affection.’ FERGUS BUTLER-GALLIE, author of A Field Guide to English Clergy

'David Wilbourne offers a warm, perceptive portrait of one of the great Anglican intellects of the last hundred years. Those who thought John Habgood only a cerebral and rather remote personality will find a very three-dimensional figure here . . .’ ROWAN WILLIAMS