The Rev. Dr Richard Temple West (1827-1893), Clergyman & Social Reformer
Described as “one of the most prominent and respected of the High Church Clergy of the (London) metropolis” (The Times, 11/02/1893:10), Richard Temple West was the first vicar of St Mary Magdalene’s Church in Paddington and the instigator of its initial vision, architectural realisation and ongoing mission. As the son of J.M West, a Commissioner of Bankruptcy and Lady Maria Walpole, daughter of the Earl of Orford, Rev. West came from privileged origins. His education at Christ Church, Oxford, was followed by ordination 1853 and early work in provincial parishes. In 1865 he became curate of the Church of All Saints, Margaret Street, a formative experience that would go on to inform and inspire the remainder of his life’s work at St Mary Magdalene. He became a passionate advocate for improving the plight of the poor through Christian ministry in the dense, urban setting of London. In 1874 he received a Doctor of Canon Law Degree from the University of the South, U.S.A and later joined the council of Keble College, Oxford. West died in Bournmouth in 1893.