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Percy Dearmer
Percival Dearmer (18671936), known as Percy Dearmer, was an English priest and liturgist best known as the author of The Parson's Handbook, a liturgical manual for Anglican clergy. A lifelong socialist, he was an early advocate of the public ministry of women (but not their ordination to the priesthood) and concerned with social justice. Dearmer also had a strong influence on the music of the church and, with Ralph Vaughan Williams and Martin Shaw, is credited with the revival and spread of traditional and medieval English musical forms.

Dearmer was made a deacon in 1891 and ordained to the priesthood in 1892 at Rochester Cathedral. On 26 May of that year, he married 19-year-old Jessie Mabel Prichard White (18721915), the daughter of Surgeon-Major William White. She was a writer (known as Mabel Dearmer) of novels and plays. She died of typhus in 1915 while serving with an ambulance unit in Serbia during the First World War. They had two sons, both of whom served in the First World War. The elder, Geoffrey, lived to the age of 103, one of the oldest surviving war poets. The younger, Christopher, died in 1915 of wounds received in battle.

he Parson's Handbook is concerned with general principles of ritual and ceremonial, but the emphasis is squarely on the side of art and beauty in worship. Dearmer states in the introduction that his goal is to help in "remedying the lamentable confusion, lawlessness, and vulgarity which are conspicuous in the Church at this time". What follows is an exhaustive delineation, sparing no detail, of the young priest's ideas on how liturgy can be conducted in a proper Catholic and English manner.

Working with the renowned composer Ralph Vaughan Williams as musical editor, Dearmer published The English Hymnal in 1906. He again worked with Vaughan Williams and Martin Shaw to produce Songs of Praise (1925) and the Oxford Book of Carols (1928). These hymnals have been credited with reintroducing many elements of traditional and medieval English music into the Church of England, as well as carrying that influence well beyond the church.

It has been claimed, that Dearmer was secretly consecrated as a bishop on 15 August 1894 by Frederick George Lee and John Thomas Seccombe of the Order of Corporate Reunion. From 1909 to 1914, he was a member of the committee of the Society of St Willibrord (founded in 1908 by George Barber to promote friendly relations between Anglican and Old Catholic churches and to prepare the way for full intercommunion between these churches).

In addition to his writings, volunteer efforts and work with the church, Dearmer served as visiting professor at the Berkeley Divinity School in New Haven, Connecticut, in 19181919, and then as the first professor of ecclesiastical art at King's College London from 1919 until his sudden death of coronary thrombosis on 29 May 1936, aged sixty-nine, in his residence in Westminster. His ashes were interred in the Great Cloister at Westminster Abbey on 3 June.