Walking with the Saints

 Edward Bouverie Pusey

Pusey was born into noble lineage on August 22, 1800 near Oxford.  He was calm and self-assured but isolated. He accepted his mother’s High Anglican teaching and moved toward a clerical vocation by way of Eaton and Oxford.  After studying Theology and languages in Germany he was nominated Regis Professor of Hebrew at Oxford by the Duke of Wellington.

He joined John Keble and John Henry Newman as part of the Oxford Movement, a movement that sought a renewal of Catholic thought and practice within the Church of England in opposition to its protestant tendencies.

Pusey’s most influential activity was his preaching- catholic in content, evangelical in his zeal. Many of his more influential contemporaries thought it seemed dangerously innovative. In 1843 he preached a sermon, “The Holy Eucharist, a Comfort to the Penitent” asserting the doctrine of the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. The university took issue with this and suspended him from preaching for two years. He bore this judgement patiently. His principles were brought before the public and attention was brought to the doctrine of The Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist.

Pusey was known as a warm hearted, sincere, and humble man. After his wife’s death he devoted much of his family fortune to the establishment of churches for the poor. He built St. Saviour’s Church, Leeds at his own expense (1842-45) and gave service to the sick during the Cholera epidemic of 1866. In 1845 he helped found in London the first Anglican sisterhood which revived monastic life in the Anglican church. It was at this community’s convent that Pusey died on September 16, 1882. His body was brought back to Christ Church and buried in the nave.  Pusey House, a house of studies founded after his death, perpetuates his name at Oxford.