|Rev. Shapurji Edalji|
Rev. Shapurji Edalji
A Bombay-born Parsi who became a Church of England pioneer
Rev. Shapurji Edalji (c1841-1918) was born into a Parsi family in Bombay, but he converted to Christianity as a teenager and was disowned by his family. He trained at the Free Church of Scotland College in Bombay and served for a period as a missionary among the pre-literate Warali people north of Bombay. He then became an Anglican and travelled to England to train as an Anglican missionary at St Augustine’s College in Canterbury. To the College’s chagrin he never returned to India. After serving as a curate in seven parishes across England he became Vicar of Great Wyrley in Staffordshire in 1876 and remained there until his death. The 42 years in Great Wyrley were filled with struggle and controversy; Shapurji even had to appear in front of the Attorney-General in 1907, the year in which Conan Doyle made the Edalji name world-famous. He was a remarkable pioneer, perhaps the first native South Asian to have been preferred to an English living.