Father Michael Harper Foundation
Fr. Michael Harper – A short biography written by Fr. Peter Hocken

Adapted from ‘The international Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic movements’

Harper, Michael Claude (1931 – 2010). Pioneer figure in the Charismatic Renewal in Britain, Leader in
world-wide Renewal, and prolific author. Converted as an undergraduate at Cambridge, Harper was
ordained a priest of the Church of England in 1956. From 1958 – 64 he served at All Souls Church,
Langham Place, one of London’s major Evangelical Churches under John Stott. In the Fall of 1962 he
had an enlivening and empowering experience of the Holy Spirit, receiving the gift of tongues in the
August of 1963. Harper sponsored talks by Frank Maguire, Larry Christenson and David du Plessis in
1963 and organised residential conferences at Stoke Poges in February and June, 1964, also publishing
Larry Christenson’s booklet on tongues and his own on prophecy. By the summer of 1964 he had
resigned from All Souls and become the first full-time General Secretary of the ‘Fountain Trust’. The
Trust embodied Harper’s golden ideals, focussing on new life in the Spirit for Christians of all churches
in the context of the Renewal of the Body of Christ.

His organisational, teaching, and writing work now multiplied with a first trip to the United States in
1965 and to Australia and New Zealand in 1967. He exemplified the message of the Holy Spirit’s
enduement of power (as distinct from eternal life) in that people received similar gifts – plus at times
major healings- through his ministry, which became increasingly international. Editing the Fountain
Trust’s magazine, ‘Renewal’ from its inception in January 1966, Harper became director in 1972.  1976
he resigned as director and editor and was based in Hounslow, West London, until 1981 when he
moved to Haywards heath, Sussex. Harper was a canon of Chichester Cathedral from 1984-95 when he
joined the Antiochian Greek Orthodox Church.

Alongside these developments, Michael, with Larry Christenson, linked with  leaders in Germany,
Norway, Sweden, France and elsewhere on the Continent, so that  1973 saw the beginning of the ECC
– European Charismatic Consultation – a strong third partner to the  two vehicles for the ensuing large
Conferences: SOMA and ICCOWE.  

From the mid 1970s to the mid 1990s, Harper’s ministry was primarily international with a twofold
focus: serving the Renewal within the Anglican Communion and promoting its ecumenical relations. The
Anglican focus developed from his role as convener of the Charismatic Conference for Anglicans
immediately before the Lambeth Conference in July 1978, which led in 1981 to the formation of
‘Sharing Of Ministries Abroad’ (SOMA), of which he was appointed full-time international director in
1984. Secondly, Harper’s ecumenical service in the Charismatic Renewal found its principal expression
in the ‘International Charismatic Consultation on World Evangelism’ (ICCOWE), which developed from
a Consultation held in Singapore in 1987. Harper served as ICCOWE’s chairman for the worldwide
ecumenical conference for Charismatic leaders held in Brighton, England (1991) and the ICCOWE-ECC
European conferences in Prague (1997, 1999). He was also part of the pivotal Dialogues which took
place between Catholic, Anglican and Pentecostal leaders, in order to bring together the differing
theological stances and provide the necessary theological basis for what God was doing in His renewal
of all the Churches.

Throughout his ministry Harper has been supported by his wife, Jeanne, herself musically gifted and for
seven years active in the Lydia Fellowship for women. Harper’s gifts are illustrated in his steady literary
output. His practical spiritual teaching is seen in ‘Power for the body of Christ’ (1964) ‘Walk in the
Spirit’ (1968) and ‘Spiritual Warfare’ (1970). His narrative skills shine in ‘As at the Beginning’ (1965)
an account of Pentecostal origins and the first blossoming of Charismatic Renewal, in ‘None can guess’
(1971), his own personal story, and in ‘A new way of living’ (1973), on the Church of the Redeemer in
Houston, Texas. His ability to clarify contemporary issues in the light of the Gospel, is seen in ‘Let My
people grow’(1977). ‘Three sisters’ (also under the title ‘This is the day’, 1979), ‘Beauty or Ashes’,
(1979),‘The Love Affair’ (1982) and ‘Equal and Different’ (1994).
Increasingly troubled by a doctrinal permissiveness in the Anglican Church, which was brought to a
head by the ordination of women in the Church of England. Michael and Jeanne joined the Orthodox
Church in March 1995. Harper was soon ordained as a priest and made Dean of a new Antiochian
Orthodox Deanery for Great Britain. His position on women’s ordination is set out in ‘Equal and
different’ (1994), the story of his pilgrimage to Orthodoxy is told in ‘The True Light’ (1997), in the
States later called ‘A Faith Fulfilled,’ (subtitled: Why Are Christians Across Great Britain Embracing
Orthodoxy (1999)?
Michael as a curate in All Souls with responsibility for the
Oxford St. Stores
Michael and Lord Arthur Rank (of cinema fame) and Oral Roberts
(worldwide healing ministry)
European Charismatic Consultation 1982
Acts '86 European Conference (Birmingham, UK)
Fr Michael in St. Botolph's, Bishopsgate in the City of
London, an Orthodox parish he founded in his last
years as an Orthodox Archpriest
At a Baptism at St. Botolph's 2008
Fr Michael Harper Foundation
3 West View, Newnham Croft
Cambridge CB3 9JB, UK
Tel: +44 1223 362933
Email: contact@harperfoundation.com