Charles Wordsworth was one of the more outstanding ecclesiastical figures of
the 19th Century. He came to Scotland initially to assume the Wardenship of
Glenalmond College, but because of his many attributes he after a few years was
elected Bishop of St. Andrews, Dunkeld and Dunblane. Most of his episcopate was
spent engaged in re-union endeavours — to unite the Episcopal Church in Scotland
with the Established Church of Scotland
In his schemes for re-union he preached many sermons, published many of his
Charges and Tracts and wrote several books including an autobiography.
Wordsworth was controversial, he was the first Bishop of the Episcopal Church
since 1690 to propose ideas of re-union — all against the background of a growing
and strengthening Episcopal Church and an Established Church whose morale was
at its lowest in the post-Disruption years.
In his writings Wordsworth displays a wealth of knowledge in Biblical Studies,
Patristics and Church History, but he was somewhat insensitive to Scots tradition
within and outwith the Episcopal Church. Often he was misunderstood and was
the subject more of controversy than reconciliation, opening up age-old debates on
the esse of Episcopacy in the government of the Church.
He was without doubt one of the originators of the modern ecumenical
movement in Scotland and his vision of a New United Scottish Establishment may
yet be fulfilled.