Michael Harper, a key figure in the charismatic renewal in the UK in the 1960s and 1970s, died on January 6th.
He was a curate at All Souls Langham Place (London), serving alongside John Stott. He left in 1964 to form the Fountain Trust, which was dedicated to spreading the charismatic message of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, accompanied by speaking in tongues. I believe that he was quite closely associated in those early days of the charismatic movement with the late David Watson, and that the two of them made an impression on the noted preacher and evangelical leader Martyn Lloyd-Jones.
In 1995 he and his wife left the Anglican Church and he became a priest of the Orthodox Church, serving the Antiochian Orthodox Parish in the City of London that meets in St Botolph’s Bishopsgate. The most usual reason that is given for this move is his concern about doctrinal laxity in the Church of England, particularly with regard to the ordination of women. However, this does not in itself explain his move into the Orthodox church, and I would like to find out a little more about his reasons for making the move.