Andrewes Hall Theological College and Seminary
ora stude labora

Our Patron, Lancelot Andrewes

Bishop Lancelot Andrewes pictured here

There are few men in the history of Christ’s Church who have as high a moral ground from which to call us to prayer, study and work as does Bishop Lancelot Andrewes (1555-1626).

Ora – Pray!

Lancelot Andrewes was a man of prayer. A sermon preached at his funeral in 1626 paid tribute to Andrewes’ diligence in prayer:

A great part of five hours every day he spent in prayer, and in his last illness he spent all his time in prayer – and when both voice and eyes and hands failed in their office, his countenance showed that he still prayed and praised God in his heart, until it pleased God to receive his blessed soul to Himself.

During the last days of his life, Bishop Andrewes faithfully read from a collection of his own prayers, to the exclusion of all other books. He had composed these devotions over the course of his ministry, drawing from a diversity of sources. Andrewes’ prayers show his familiarity with the Greek liturgies as well as John Knox's Book of Common Order of 1564, revealing his irenic and catholic spirit. These devotions were primarily written in Latin, though occasionally in Greek or Hebrew, showing that Bishop Andrewes’ scholarship became a tool for his piety. These were the personal devotions and private prayers of a man who chose to keep his spiritual journal to himself. They were not intended for public distribution, but for adoration, confession and supplication. However, to the great delight of future generations, Bishop Andrewes’ prayers were copied, preserved and have throughout the centuries been translated into English several times. Andrewes Hall seminarians are presented with ample opportunity to contemplate (and re-translate!) these masterpieces of spiritual devotion.

Stude – Study!

Lancelot Andrewes was one of the most learned men of his time, and arguably, the most brilliant scholar the Church of England has ever produced. A contemporary eulogized:

His knowledge in Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Chaldee, Syriac and Arabic, besides fifteen modern languages, was so advanced that he may be ranked as one of the rarest linguists in Christendom.

In the area of linguistics as well as the study of the early church fathers, Bishop Andrewes defined the standard of excellence. Andrewes Hall seminarians have a tremendous opportunity to emulate their patron in devoting themselves to serious scholarship, including the study of Hebrew, Greek and Latin.

Labora – Work!

Lancelot Andrewes’ work encompassed teaching, writing, translating, preaching, and episcopal responsibilities. He taught at Cambridge University, and students’ notes from his lectures are still extant. Andrewes served as Royal Chaplain to Queen Elizabeth I, and to Kings James I and Charles I. He was held in high esteem for his preaching, which also gained him great favor with King James. A book of 96 of his sermons is still available, though the style is challenging for the modern reader. Andrewes was made Anglican bishop of Chichester, Ely and Winchester, successively, during the reign of James I. He was also among the first to be selected to create the Authorized (King James) Version of the Bible. Andrewes was the leading scholar on the team responsible for translating the Old Testament from Genesis to Chronicles. Bishop Andrewes probably contributed more to that monumental work than any other individual. The bishop was held the high regard by churchmen of every description, as is evident by the beautiful Latin eulogy written on the occasion of his death by Milton, an avid Puritan. In his work, as in his devotion and scholarship, Lancelot Andrewes is a noble and worthy role model for our 21st century seminarians.