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Home WHO WE ARE Assumptionists Profiles Prominent Assumptionists Archbishop GEORGE ANDREW BECK (1904-1978)

Archbishop GEORGE ANDREW BECK (1904-1978) PDF Print E-mail

Archbishop George Andrew Beck (1904-1978)PROMINENT ASSUMPTIONIST Archbishop George Andrew Beck (1904-1978)

George Andrew Beck was born in Streatham, in south London. He was educated at Clapham College and later at the Assumptionist College of St Michael at Hitchin in Hertfordshire. Undertaking his theological studies in England and Belgium, he made his final vows in 1926 and, at the age of 23, was ordained in 1927.

He began his priestly life in the education apostolate, first as a teacher in Hitchin, then as its director. In 1944 he assumed direction of the Assumptionist college in Nottingham, The Becket School, and in 1948 he was appointed coadjutor Bishop of Brentwood and titular bishop of Tigias. He succeeded as Bishop of Brentwood in 1951 and was subsequently Bishop of Salford from 1955 to 1964.

As Bishop of Salford he continued the substantial expansion of new parishes and schools begun by his predecessor Henry Vincent Marshall to implement the Education Act. Beck was an educational expert and successfully led negotiations with successive governments to better the position of Catholic schools across the country and give them equal footing with state-subsidized institutions. In 1964 he was appointed Archbishop of Liverpool, from which he resigned at the age of 71 in 1976.

Liverpool Cathedral, began (1962) and completed (1967) when Archbishop Beck was in office
Liverpool Cathedral, began (1962) and completed (1967) when Archbishop Beck was in office

Catholicism was a minority faith in England and was often considered by the Anglican establishment as a foreign body, due especially to the presence of Irish immigrants. Patiently, Bishop Beck worked to give his different dioceses a network of religious institutions that broadened the influence of the Church in social matters and gave it a more solid national base. Inspired by the Second Vatican Council, he became the first bishop to create a Presbyteral Council and a Pastoral Council. He also opened a Press and Information Office. Interested in ecumenical relations, he had the joy of being invited to preach in the Anglican cathedral of Liverpool.

Archbishop Beck Catholic Sports College in the Walton area of Liverpool is named after him
Archbishop Beck Catholic Sports College in the Walton area of Liverpool is named after him

In 1966 a heart attack obliged him to curtail his activities and ask for the assistance of an auxiliary bishop. He died on September 13, 1978.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 27 January 2016 12:52
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