Simeon, Charles

Anglican evangelical, born in Reading. He was educated at Eton College and King's College Cambridge, where, at the communion service on Easter Day 1779 he had a conversion experience. He became a Fellow of King's College in 1782 and was incumbent of Holy Trinity, Cambridge from 1782 until his death in 1836. A friend of Henry Venn and his son John, he was also acquainted with John Fletcher and John Wesley. He began small group meetings for his parishioners comparable to Methodist class meetings. He held conversation parties and sermon classes in his rooms at King's for aspiring ordinands and in this way helped to revitalize much of the Anglican ministry. In the preface to his sermon outlines, Horae Homileticae (1819-20),he recorded a conversation with Wesley on 20 Dec 1784 on the common ground between Calvinists and Arminians. Reviled and criticized at first by both university authorities and members of his congregation, he was later widely respected and influential. He was one of the founders of the CMS and of the Simeon Trust for the appointment of suitable clergy to benefices purchased from his funds. He died at Cambridge on 13 November 1836. His collected works were published in 1840.

  • W. Carus (ed.), Memoirs of the Life of the Rev. Charles Simeon (1847)
  • H. Noel, Charles Simeon of Cambridge (1890)
  • H.C.G. Moule, Charles Simeon (1892)
  • Michael Hennell and Arthur Pollard, Charles Simeon: Essays written in Commemoration of his Bi-centenary (1959)
  • H.E. Hopkins, Charles Simeon of Cambridge (1977)
  • Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church
  • Oxford DNB