Philip Welsford Richmond Russell
Denomination Anglican
Senior posting
See Cape Town
Title Archbishop of Cape Town, Primate of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa
Period in office 1981 – 1986

Bill B. Burnett

Successor = Desmond Tutu
Religious career
Priestly ordination 1981
Previous post Bishop
Date of birth 21 October 1919
Place of birth Cowies Hill, South Africa

Philip Welsford Richmond Russell (born 21 October 1919, Cowies Hill, South Africa) was the Archbishop of Cape Town, South Africa from 1980 to 1986. Originally trained as a quantity surveyor he served in World War II as part of a bomb disposal unit in the South African engineering corps it was during this time he felt the call to priesthood and became interested in the Institute of Race Relations. As a parish priest in country towns, he started expressing his doubts about apartheid in sermons. A church council in 1962 was the first time he saw black people and white people sitting together and talking.[1] He served on the council of Diakona, an interdenominational body which was very active in the both the spiritual and social service sides of Christian life.

From 1970 to 1974 he was bishop of the new Anglican Diocese of Port Elizabeth, and from 1974 to 1981 he was Bishop of Natal.

In 1980 he was named Archbishop of Cape Town by the Episcopal Synod of the Anglican Church after the Diocese of Cape Town was unable to decide between Desmond Tutu and Michael Nuttall, the Bishop of Pretoria. He retired in 1986 and was succeeded by Desmond Tutu.

Russell was Bishop in Cape Town (both as suffragan and as Archbishop), Port Elizabeth and Natal during which time he was an ardent supporter of human rights through the S.A. Institute of Race Relations and the Civic Rights League. His ecumenical enthusiasm has led him to an active involvement in Diakonia, Vuleka Trust, the SACC and the World Council of Churches.[2] After the death of his wife he moved to Adelaide, Australia where three of his four children have settled.


  1. "The beginning of the end of Apartheid". Cathedral Magazine. 2007-06. Retrieved 2008-04-04. 
  2. "Partners in Faith and Action: Sibambisene Okholweni Nasekusebenzeni". The Anglican News. 2007-04. Retrieved 2008-04-04. 

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