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This page last updated 15 April 2007
Anglicans Online last updated 10 December 2017

Trevor Huddleston dead at 84

Archbishop Trevor Huddleston, an Anglican priest who led the English campaign to end apartheid in South Africa, died 20 April 1998 at age 84. Bishop Huddleston, who lived in Africa for much of his life, died at the Community of the Resurrection in Mirfield, England, headquarters of the religious order he joined in the 1930s and where he lived after retirement. ''He had been feeling somewhat ill for the past couple of days and he died of old age. It was very peaceful,'' his assistant Jill Thompson said.

Bishop Huddleston helped found Britain's Anti-Apartheid Movement in 1959 and led its campaigns for sanctions against the white-led government. He was knighted this year for his work against apartheid. South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a friend for more than 50 years, said Bishop Huddleston ''made sure that apartheid got on to the world agenda and stayed there.'' ''If you could say that anybody single-handedly made apartheid a world issue, then that person was Trevor Huddleston,'' said Tutu in a BBC radio interview. South African President Nelson Mandela said Monday that Bishop Huddleston ''forsook all that apartheid South Africa offered the privileged (white) minority. And he did so at great risk to his personal safety and well-being.''

Bishop Huddleston was educated at Oxford University and became a monk in 1939. Two years later, he was went to work in the black slums near Johannesburg. From the beginning he fought to alleviate poverty and railed against laws that made blacks non-citizens in their own land. ''There is no time to be lost in breaking the present government I am convinced,'' he wrote in ''Naught For Your Comfort,'' his 1955 book about his experiences. In 1956, he was recalled by his superiors, who feared the views expressed in his book might get him expelled. ''I did not want to leave because I loved being in Africa, but I had taken a vow of obedience so I had to,'' he told the Associated Press in 1978. South Africa later barred him.

On retirement in 1983, he devoted himself full time to the country he had been forced to leave,' becoming president of the Anti-Apartheid Movement and chairman of the Defense Aid Fund for South Africa. Black South Africans gave him a tumultuous welcome when he returned to Johannesburg in June 1991 for the first time in 35 years.

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