Anglican Stars: Two Dorothys

Who has inspired you in your faith?

Most of us can give examples of people who have encouraged and inspired us. Some may be great names, some may be people we have met and talked to. In some cases the ‘encounter’ may have been over a period of time, in other cases it may have been a chance, even momentary encounter which changed and inspired us.

So who has inspired you?

Fr Ian, in the Facebook group Miscellanea Historica Anglicana (A Miscellany of Anglican History) invited people to say who their Anglican ‘stars’ were. We’ve been thinking of the Magi guided to Bethlehem by the star so Ian thought it would be interesting to ask which people (no longer living) from the Anglican church have inspired or guided us.

Well a wealth of answers came in, a wonderful and interesting variety. We’d thought it would be good to begin to gather some of the answers here, on our church blog, focussing, perhaps, on the less well known choices. We give links for further reading too.

First of all in this series – two Dorothys. 

Dorothy Kerin

Dorothy Kerin (1889 – 1963): Bishop Richard Charteris, when Bishop of London said: ” during her own lifetime and beyond, Dorothy Kerin was considered a pioneer in the recovery of the Church’s healing ministry.

 Aged 22, this frail Anglo Catholic young lady suffered from tuberculosis and its complications. After two weeks of very considerable poor health, she was, it seems, miraculously healed. She claimed to have not only seen the Risen Lord but to have actually met him. In this meeting, she was given a commission: to go into the world and perform an important work for Him.

 ‘I seemed to be going somewhere with a definite purpose.  For me it was a time of indescribable joy and bliss in a place and environment of exquisite harmony, when suddenly I was aware of a lovely form in dazzling white. He was coming towards me and I knew it was Jesus. He said “Dorothy, will you go back and do something for me”, to which I answered “Yes, Lord”. Then I was told to get up and walk.’

 In 1915 Dorothy began a period of spiritual direction. Her faith was informed by the mystical tradition, with a clear Anglican sense of appropriateness and dignity.

 During this period, she experienced the manifestation of the marks of the wounds of Christ on her own body, her hands, feet and side.  She is thus one of the few attested Anglican stigmatics.” You can read more about this inspiring Dorothy here.

Dorothy Leigh Sayers

Our second Dorothy is the renowned English crime writer, poet and Christian writer Dorothy L Sayers (1893 – 1957). Dorothy was a devout member of the Church of England, for whom the closeness of God was central to her way of thinking, and spiritual life. She both wrote and spoke of the need to make Christian teaching meaningful ion ordinary life.

As well as her popular ‘Lord Peter Wimsey’ detective books she wrote theological and other works and twelve radio plays, commissioned by the BBC, on the life of Christ, called The Man born to be King. In the darkest days of World War Two, when they were first broadcast, they were listened to, and appreciated by, a huge audience. Her last great passion was to translate Dante into English. She had a wide variety of interests, a zest for life, and together with a great intellect a deep appreciation for the Anglican faith. You can read more about Dorothy L Sayers here.


About stchrysostoms

St Chrysostom’s is an Anglican (Church of England) parish church in Manchester, UK. We’re an inclusive, diverse and welcoming faith community rejoicing in our Anglo Catholic tradition, where people of many differing backgrounds make friends. Find our Facebook group at
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