The Liberal Catholic Church

Historical View

Christian doctrine and worship

James Wedgwood, who was deeply interested in the Catholic presentation of Christian doctrine and worship, contacted Archbishop Arnold Matthew, head of the Old Catholic Church for Great Britain and Ireland, in 1913 and after being re-baptized sub conditione and given the Minor Orders, and those of Subdeacon and Deacon, was ordained as priest on 22 July 1913. Wedgwood made it known to Archbishop Matthew that he was a member of the Theosophical Society. Following this development, several other TS members were also ordained to the priesthood, thus forming a congregation of the Old Catholic Church in London.  Archbishop Matthew, before he severed his connection with the Old Catholic Church, consecrated a new bishop, Frederick Samuel Willoughby, on 28 October 1914. In the following year Bishop Willoughby consecrated to the episcopate Robert King and Rupert Gauntlett on 25 September 1915. James Wedgwood was subsequently consecrated on 13 February 1916 by Bishop F. S. Willoughby, assisted by Bishops King and Gauntlett.

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