Marcus Loane

Marcus Loane (1911 – 2009) Archbishop of Sydney
Marcus Loane was Tutor and Chaplain (1935–1938), Vice Principal (1939–1953) and the ninth Principal of Moore Theological College (1953–1958). He was subsequently Assistant Bishop (1958–1966) Archbishop of Sydney (1966–1982) and Primate of Australia (1977-1982). In the 1976 New Year Honours, he was appointed a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE).

Marcus Loane was born on 14 October 1912 in Tasmania. His family moved to north Queensland, then to Sydney.

A graduate of Sydney University and Moore College, he was ordained in 1935 and married Patricia Knox in 1937. After active service in World War II, including in Papua New Guinea, he lectured at Moore College, where he would eventually served as principal from 1954-1958. He was succeeded in that role by his brother-in-law D. B. Knox.

He was made an assistant bishop by the then Archbishop of Sydney Howard Mowll in 1958, and served both Mowll and Archbishop Hugh Gough until, in 1966, he would follow Gough as Sydney’s Anglican Archbishop from 1966-1981—the first Archbishop of Sydney to have been born in Australia.

He was a prolific author and his works include several biographies. His first book, published in 1950, was Oxford and the Evangelical Succession, and this was followed by Cambridge and the Evangelical Succession (1952), Masters of the English Reformation (1955), Makers of Religious Freedom (1961) and Pioneers of the Reformation in England (1964). The material of these volumes was, for Loane, highly relevant to the Christian mission in 20th-century Australia.

Marcus Loane’s life and work held together a tenacious loyalty to Anglican forms and order with an unimpeachable commitment to evangelicalism. For example, he was insistent on clerical dress, refusing to take questions from clerical members of Synod not wearing clerical collars.

He saw the The Book of Common Prayer as not just a bulwark for orthodoxy within the Anglican communion, but as a pure well of reformed and evangelical spirituality. He nevertheless moved freely in interdenominational circles and was warmly received and appreciated by non-Anglican evangelicals and in the wider Christian community. He was also able to hold together a deep loyalty to British culture, society and monarch with a similarly unimpeachable claim to be Australian.

Despite holding senior office and despite a prolific publishing record, Loane operated fundamentally as a minister of the word of God—visiting the sick, leading people to faith, preaching the word of God and praying for the people in his care. (On visiting the sick, Loane—normally a stickler for the rules—would happily ignore the advertised visiting hours in hospitals in order to pray at people’s bedsides.)

See also:

The Most Rev Marcus Loane

Sydney remembers Sir Marcus Loane

Loane the Anglican Evangelical

A Review of From Strength to Strength: A Life of Marcus Loane, by Allan M. Blanch

Archbishop Marcus Loane photo gallery

Marcus Loane Memorial Service – Archbishop Peter Jensen – 24 minutes
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