Donald Allchin

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The Reverend Canon
Donald Allchin
Born Arthur Macdonald Allchin
(1930-04-20)20 April 1930
London, England
Died 23 December 2010(2010-12-23) (aged 80)
Oxford, Oxfordshire, England
Nationality British
Education Westminster School
Alma mater Christ Church, Oxford
Cuddesdon College
Occupation Anglican priest

Arthur Macdonald "Donald" Allchin (20 April 1930 – 23 December 2010), published as A. M. Allchin, was a British Anglican priest and theologian. He was librarian of Pusey House, Oxford from 1960 to 1969, a residentiary canon of Canterbury Cathedral from 1973 to 1987, and programme director of the St Theosevia Centre for Christian Spirituality in Oxford from 1987 to 1996.

Early life and education[edit]

Allchin was born on 20 April 1930 in London, England, the third and youngest son of Frank Macdonald Allchin (1891–1977) and his wife Louise Maude Allchin, née Wright (1889–1978).[1][2] One of his siblings was the archaeologist Raymond Allchin.[2] He was educated at Westminster School, then an all-boys public school in London.[3] He then studied modern history at Christ Church, Oxford,[4] and he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in 1951.[5] As per tradition, his BA degree was promoted to a Master of Arts (MA Oxon) in 1955.[3][5] In 1954, he matriculated into Cuddesdon College, an Anglo-Catholic theological college near Oxford, to train for Holy Orders.[1][5] During this time, he also studied theology at Christ Church, Oxford, completing a Bachelor of Letters (BLitt) degree in 1956.[5]

Due to his reputation as a theologian and for his involvement in Anglican-Orthodox relations, Allchin was awarded a number of honorary Doctor of Divinity (DD) degrees: by the Bucharest Theological Institute[which?] in 1977, by Nashotah House in 1985, by Aarhus University in 1992, and by the University of Wales in 1993.[3] He was awarded a Lambeth DD in 2006.[6]

Ordained ministry[edit]

Allchin was ordained in the Church of England as a deacon in 1956 and as a priest in 1957.[5] From 1956 to 1960, he served his curacy at St Mary Abbots, Kensington in the Diocese of London.[6] In 1960, he joined Pusey House, Oxford as librarian;[3] Pusey House is a "centre of Anglo-Catholic worship and spirituality" that is associated with the University of Oxford.[4] In 1967 or 1968, he additionally became Warden of the Community of the Sisters of the Love of God (SLG), an Anglican contemplative community of women based in Oxford;[1][3] he only relinquished his wardenship in 1994.[3] He was a visiting lecturer at the General Theological Seminary, an Episcopal seminary in New York, in 1967 and in 1968.[1][3]

Allchin left Pusey House in 1969 to become an independent theologian.[6][5] During this time, he also acted as an adviser to Michael Ramsey, the then Archbishop of Canturbury, on Anglican relations with the Orthodox Church.[4] Then, from 1973 to 1987, he was a residentiary canon of Canterbury Cathedral.[6] From 1973, he took part in the Anglican-Orthodox Joint Doctrinal Discussions, the first of which was held in Oxford.[4][7] He held a number of visiting academic appointments during this time: at Catholic University of Lyon in 1980, at the Trinity Institute of Trinity Church, New York City in 1983, and at Nashotah House, Wisconsin in 1984.[3]

In 1987, Allchin left Canterbury Cathedral to become programme director of the St Theosevra Centre for Christian Spirituality in Oxford.[6] In 1988, he was appointed an "Honorary Provincial Canon" of Canterbury Cathedral.[4][5] From 1992 until his death, he was an honorary professor at the University of Wales, Bangor.[1] He retired from the St Theosevra Centre in 1994.[3]

In retirement, Allchin held a Licence to Officiate in the Diocese of Canterbury from 1994 to 1997, and Permission to Officiate in the Diocese of Bangor from 1997 to 2010.


Allchin was a dedicated ecumenist. He had been a member of the Fellowship of Saint Alban and Saint Sergius since he first attended university; this is a Christian society founded to foster relations between the Anglican and Orthodox traditions.[2] He worked closely with another member of that Fellowship, H. A. Hodges, in the study of Welsh literature, and in particular the work of Ann Griffiths.[8]

Personal life[edit]

On 23 December 2010, Allchin died in Oxford, Oxfordshire, England; he was aged 80.[6] A Requiem Mass was held for him on 12 January 2011 at St Mary Magdalen's Church, Oxford.[9] The sermon was given by Rowan Williams, the then Archbishop of Canterbury.[9]

Allchin never married.[4]

Selected works[edit]

  • Allchin, A. M. (1958). The Silent Rebellion: Anglican Religious Communities, 1845–1900. London: SCM Press.
  • Allchin, A. M. (1963). Spirit and the Word. London: Faith Press. ISBN 978-0716400103.
  • Coulson, John; Allchin, A. M., eds. (1967). The rediscovery of Newman: an Oxford symposium. London: Sheed & Ward. ISBN 978-0722005101.
  • Allchin, A. M. (1976). Ann Griffiths. Cardiff: University of Wales Press.
  • Allchin, A. M. (1978). The World Is a Wedding: Explorations in Christian Spirituality. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0195200799.
  • Allchin, A. M. (1979). The Kingdom of love and knowledge: the encounter between Orthodoxy and the West. London: Darton, Longman and Todd. ISBN 978-0232514377.
  • Allchin, A. M. (1981). The Dynamic of Tradition. London: Darton Longman & Todd. ISBN 978-0232515169.
  • Allchin, A. M. (1982). A taste of liberty. Oxford: SLG. ISBN 978-0728300941.
  • Allchin, A. M. (1984). The joy of all creation: an Anglican meditation on the place of Mary (1st ed.). Cambridge, MA: Cowley Publications. ISBN 978-0936384245.
  • Allchin, A .M.; de Waal, Esther, eds. (1986). Threshold of light: prayers and praises from the Celtic tradition. London: Darton, Longman and Todd. ISBN 978-0232516784.
  • Allchin, A. M. (1988). Participation in God: a forgotten strand in Anglican tradition. Wilton, CT: Morehouse-Barlow. ISBN 978-0819214089.
  • Allchin, A. M., ed. (1989). The heart of compassion. London: Darton, Longman and Todd. ISBN 978-0232518061.
  • Allchin, A. M., ed. (1989). Landscapes of Glory: Daily Readings with Thomas Traherne. London: Darton, Longman and Todd. ISBN 978-0232518603.
  • Allchin, A. M. (1991). Praise above all: discovering the Welsh tradition. Cardiff: University of Wales Press. ISBN 978-0708310915.
  • Allchin, A. M. (1993). The joy of all creation: an Anglican meditation on the place of Mary (2nd ed.). London: New City. ISBN 978-0904287486.
  • Allchin, A. M.; Jasper, D., eds. (1994). Heritage and prophecy: Grundtvig and the English-speaking world. Norwich: Canterbury. ISBN 978-1853110856.
  • Allchin, A. M. (1997). God's presence makes the world: the Celtic vision through the centuries in Wales. London: Darton, Longman & Todd. ISBN 978-0232522068.
  • Allchin, A. M. (1997). N.F.S. Grundtvig: an introduction to his life and work. Aarhus: Aarhus University Press. ISBN 978-8772886565.
  • Allchin, A. M. (1998). Resurrection's children: exploring the way towards God. Norwich: Canterbury Press. ISBN 978-1853112362.
  • Allchin, A. M.; Morgan, D. Densil (2000). Sensuous glory: the poetic vision of D. Gwenallt Jones. Norwich: Canterbury Press. ISBN 978-1853113499.
  • Allchin, A. M.; Bradley, S. A. J., eds. (2000). Grundtvig in international perspective: studies in the creativity of interaction. Aarhus: Aarhus University Press. ISBN 978-8772888354.
  • Allchin, A. M. (2003). Friendship in God: the encounter of Evelyn Underhill and Sorella Maria of Campello. Oxford: SLG. ISBN 978-0728301610.
  • Allchin, A. M. (2005). The Gift of Theology: The Trinitarian Vision of Ann Griffiths and Elizabeth of Dijon. Rome: Canterbury Press. ISBN 978-0728301641.


  1. ^ a b c d e Scott, David (24 February 2011). "Donald Allchin obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 31 March 2017.
  2. ^ a b c Morgan, D. Densil (January 2014). "Allchin, Arthur Macdonald [Donald] (1930–2010)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 31 March 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i "ALLCHIN, Rev. Canon Arthur Macdonald, (Donald)". Who Was Who. Oxford University Press. April 2014. Retrieved 31 March 2017.
  4. ^ a b c d e f "Canon Donald Allchin". The Daily Telegraph. 24 February 2011. Retrieved 31 March 2017.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g "Arthur Macdonald (Donald) Allchin". Crockford's Clerical Directory (online ed.). Church House Publishing. Retrieved 31 March 2017.
  6. ^ a b c d e f "Canon AM Allchin: Theologian who fostered unity between Christianity's major strands". The Independent. 28 March 2011. Retrieved 31 March 2017.
  7. ^ "The International Commission for the Anglican – Orthodox Theological Dialogue". Anglican Communion. Anglican Communion Office. Retrieved 31 March 2017.
  8. ^ Flame in the Mountains: Williams Pantycelyn, Ann Griffiths and the Welsh Hymn; Essays and Translations by H. A. Hodges, ed. E. Wyn James (Tal-y-bont: Y Lolfa, 2017).
  9. ^ a b "Archbishop's sermon at High Mass of Requiem for Canon Donald Allchin". Archbishop of Canterbury. 12 January 2011. Retrieved 31 March 2017.