Waite Hockin Stirling

Waite Hockin Stirling

Waite Hockin Stirling (1829 to 19 November 1923) was a 19th century missionary with the Patagonian Missionary Society and was the first Anglican Bishop of the Falkland Islands.

In the mid-1800s, the Patagonian Missionary Society suffered several tragedies, including in 1851 when Captain Allen Gardiner and his companions at Spanish Harbour on Picton Island died of starvation, and another in 1859 when a group of missionaries were massacred at Wulaia, Navarino Island. In 1854, when the work of the mission was re-established at Keppel Island in the Falkland Islands, Stirling became secretary of the mission in England. In 1861 he went to Keppel Island as the mission superintendent and from there re-established contacts with the Yaghan of Tierra del Fuego. In January 1869 he established a new mission at Ushuaia in Tierra del Fuego. [Bridges, E L (1948) "The Uttermost Part of the Earth" Republished 2008, Overlook Press ISBN 978-1585679560 ]

Whilst in isolation in Ushuaia, as "God's Lonely Sentinel", as Stirling called himself, he was summoned to London to be consecrated on 21 December 1869 in Westminster Abbey as "Bishop of the Falkland Islands", in keeping with contemporary practice to name overseas bishoprics after one of Her Majesty's possessions. Seven consular chaplaincies in South America and several private company chaplains were placed under his jurisdiction. He spent his first few years establishing his authority over recalcitrant clergy and congregations who resented this Episcopal "upstart" and who still thought they owed allegiance to the Bishop of London, the person responsible for oversight of overseas Colonial and Consular Chaplaincies.

On January 14, 1872, Bishop Stirling was assigned his "Throne and Episcopal Chair" by the Colonial Chaplain, the Reverend Charles Bull. His consecration was to take place in the in the Exchange Building in Port Stanley; however, Stirling refused to be consecrated in "half a commercial building" because it was not a cathedral. After a wall of the Exchange Building was destroyed in 1886, the present Stanley Cathedral was built, and consecrated in 1892.

Bishop Stirling resigned in 1900 to become a Canon and Assistant Bishop at Wells Cathedral, where he served for 20 years until his retirement at the age of 91.


*cite book
last =
first =
authorlink =
coauthors =
title =Who Was Who
publisher = A & C Black
date =31 January 2007
location =London
pages =
url =
doi =
id = ISBN 0713683341

* [http://www.falklands.info/history/histarticle18.html Falklands.info]

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