The Right Reverend Wilfred Bird Hornby

Diocesan Bishop (1904-1918)

One of Bishop Edward Churton’s friends was the Right Reverend Wilfred Bird Hornby, the Bishop of Nyasaland. Hornby visited the Churtons in Nassau in 1899 and visited many of the islands to assist Bishop Edward Churton who was already in poor health. When Henry Churton died, Bishop Hornby, who was already known and loved by many in the Diocese, was elected the Sixth Bishop. He took up residence in Addington House in 1905 and lived here until his retirement in 1918. It is thought that the two buildings to the east and west of the main house were probably built around the turn of the twentieth century. If this is so, then it was possible that either Bishop Edward Churton or Bishop Hornby was responsible for those additions.

The upper story of the East Building for many years housed the Diocesan Library, known as the Addington Library. The period of the First World War was a difficult one for the Diocese of Nassau, as there were a number of vacant parishes. Bishop Hornby had already brought a group of Anglican Nuns from the Community of St. Peter in Yorkshire to teach and assist in pastoral care, and this helped to ease the shortage of clergy. Bishop Shedden, wrote in 1927

            Bishop Hornby’s memory is still loved and revered in Nassau. No Bishop has ever fulfilled the duties of hospitality more thoroughly than he, and the Saturday afternoon parties [at Addington House] at which he instructed the gentlemen of Nassau in the art of playing quoits are still fondly remembered. He is spoken of as the most popular Englishman who ever came to the Bahamas… [Ups and Downs in a West Indian Diocese, p.166-7]