Joost de Blank

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The Most Revd
Joost de Blank
Archbishop of Cape Town
Joost de Blank
Church Anglican
Province Southern Africa
Metropolis Cape Town
Installed 1957
Term ended 1963
Predecessor Geoffrey Clayton
Successor Robert Selby Taylor
Ordination 1932
Consecration 1952
Personal details
Born (1908-11-14)14 November 1908
Rotterdam, Netherlands
Died 1 January 1968(1968-01-01) (aged 59)
London, England
Buried Westminster Abbey
Nationality Dutch/British
Previous post Bishop of Stepney
Education Merchant Taylors' School
Alma mater Queens' College, Cambridge
King's College London
Ridley Hall, Cambridge

The Most Reverend Joost de Blank (1908 – 1968)[1] was the Archbishop of Cape Town, South Africa from 1957[2] to 1963 and was known as the "scourge of apartheid" for his ardent opposition to the whites-only policies of the South African government.[3]


De Blank was born in Rotterdam on 14 November 1908, he became a British subject as a child in 1921.[4] He was educated at Merchant Taylors' School, King's College London, and Queens' College, Cambridge.

Clerical career

He was ordained after a period of study at Ridley Hall, Cambridge in 1932[5] and began his career as a Curate in Bath. De Blank held incumbencies at Forest Gate and Greenhill, Harrow. during World War II he was an army chaplain.[6] In 1952 he was appointed the Bishop of Stepney in the Diocese of London[7] and continued in this post until he was translated to Cape Town.

South Africa

He succeeded Geoffrey Clayton as Archbishop of Cape Town in 1957. In South Africa, he refused to preach in any church not open to blacks as well as whites. He opposed clause 29 of Natives Law Amendment Bill, which gave the civil authorities powers to exclude non whites from Anglican churches. In 1960 De Blank called on the Dutch Reformed Church to repudiate apartheid, and in the same year criticised the South African jubilee celebrations: "This is no time for rejoicing, but for shame".

De Blank suffered a stroke which caused him to resign from Cape Town in 1963. He returned to England whereupon he was appointed a canon of Westminster Abbey.[8]

Honours and awards

De Blank died at Westminster on 1 January 1968 and was buried in Westminster Abbey.[10]


Notes and references

  1. Obitaury The Rt Rev Joost De Blank. The Times (London, England), Tuesday, Jan 02, 1968; pg. 8; Issue 57138
  2. New Archbishop's "Difficult Job". The Times (London, England), Saturday, May 11, 1957; pg. 4; Issue 53838
  3. "Apartheid Crazy", Archbishop Says. The Times (London, England), Saturday, Sep 26, 1959; pg. 5; Issue 54576.
  4. The London Gazette: no. 32344. p. 4452. 3 June 1921.
  5. Oxford University Press (1976). Crockford's Clerical Directory: A Reference Book of the Clergy of the Provinces of Canterbury and York and of Other Anglican Provinces and Dioceses. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-200008-8.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 34886. p. 4008. 28 June 1940.
  7. The London Gazette: no. 39597. p. 3816. 15 July 1952.
  8. The London Gazette: no. 43228. p. 744. 24 January 1964.
  9. The London Gazette: no. 40073. p. 305. 12 January 1954.
  10. Richard Jenkyns (2011). Westminster Abbey. Harvard University Press. pp. 74–. ISBN 978-0-674-06197-2.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

Church of England titles
Preceded by
Robert Moberly
Bishop of Stepney
1952 – 1957
Succeeded by
Evered Lunt
Anglican Church of Southern Africa titles
Preceded by
Geoffrey Hare Clayton
Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town
1957 – 1963
Succeeded by
Robert Selby Taylor