Many of the key improvements to social conditions in the United Kingdom have been made by Christians. Most of us would be able to think of such key Anglican figures as William Wilberforce, Anthony Ashley Cooper, Earl of Shaftesbury or Dr Thomas Barnardo, but lesser known contributions were made behind the scenes by significant members of the Non-Conformist Churches. This book traces the Free Church contribution to society from 1800 to the present day. It looks at the work of campaigners, co-operative societies, philanthropists and politicians, and traces the ways in which conditions in slums, education, and industry were improved, including work with women and with black and ethnic minorities. There is a growing interest in the part the churches can play today in community development and in the building of social capital. This book will show that some of the things now seen as government initiatives had their origins in the work of Free Church pioneers.
Revd Dr Lesley Husselbee has just retired after nine years as Director of Church Related Community Work, Northern College, Luther King House, Manchester. Prior to this, she taught in primary and secondary schools and as Senior Lecturer in Geography at The Roehampton Institute of Higher Education; and was Secretary for Training of the United Reformed Church (1992-2001).
Introduction Kirsty Thorpe; 1. The Free Churches and their Nation Stephen Orchard; 2. Congregations and Community Robert Pope; 3. Conscience and Politics David Bebbington; 4. Providers and Protagonists in the Nation's Education Stephen Orchard; 5. Industry, Philanthropy and Christian Citizenship: Pioneers in Paternalism Clyde Binfield; 6. Slums and Salvation Peter Catterall; 7. Campaigners and co-operative societies David Thompson; 8. The Welfare State and Beyond: the Reshaping of Community Work Lesley Husselbee; 9. Living out of History Paul Ballard; Bibliography; Index.