Fr Charles Edward Brooke holds a special place in the heart of the parish of St John the Divine and the community of Kennington. He came from a wealthy family, but lived a modest life. Instead, he ploughed his money into Churches and schools. Bishop Montgomery wrote in 1911, "It never had occurred to Brooke that inherited wealth was to be used for any purpose except to surrender it all, the whole of it, with with joy for the Lord and His Church."
Brooke is remembered as a strong leader who trielessly built up the parish through mission work. As well as being a preacher of Catholic faith, he used his wealth to support the foundation of a number of churches in the area.
Hewas a champion of education, especially for theeducation of Women, andfounded several schools, empowering the people of South London through learning. His work helped hundreds of people to escape the poverty trap.
Brooke was also a benefactor to numerous church missions to Calcutta, Jerusalem, Zululand, Cariboo, British Columbia, the South Africa Railway Mission and the mission to Corea (Korea). Canon Brooke was a major influence on the acceptance of high church worship in England. Although St John's was a proscribed church after the Public Worship Regulation Act of 1874 due to its Anglo-Catholic style, he never went to prison.
Rev Charles Edward Brooke
1847 Charles Edward Brooke was born in Honley, near Huddersfield in Yorkshire.
1866-70 studied at Oxford University
1870-71 trained for the priesthood at Cuddeston Theological College
1871 Joined the staff of St John's as a curate under the first vicar, Rev. Daniel William Elsdale
1881 Appointed as the second vicar of St John the Divine.
1900 Honorary Canon of Southwark Cathedral
1911 Died aged 63
Memorials to C E Brooke
§ The Brooke memorial in the Lady Chapel
§ Brooke's gargoyle image carved in 1993 for the tower restoration project
Churches founded by Brooke
§ St John the Divine
§ St Michael and All Angels, Toulon Street
§ All Saints Mission Chapel, Elfin Rd.
Schools founded by Brooke
§ Kennington Secondary School for Girls (now called Saint Gabriel's College)
§ St. Gabriel's Teacher Training College for young ladies, Corment Road
§ St John the Apostle School, Camberwell New Road