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Reviewed by:
  • Philanthropy and the Funding of the Church of England, 1856–1914by Sarah Flew, and: Anglican Clergy in Australia, 1788–1850: Building a British Worldby Michael Gladwin
  • Stewart J. Brown (bio)
Philanthropy and the Funding of the Church of England, 1856–1914, by Sarah Flew; pp. xiv + 251. London and Brookfield, VT: Pickering & Chatto, 2015, £100.00, $153.00.
Anglican Clergy in Australia, 1788–1850: Building a British World, by Michael Gladwin; pp. xii + 268. Suffolk: The Boydell Press, 2015, £50.00, $90.00.

The achievements of the established Church of England during the nineteenth century were extraordinary. During that century, the Anglican establishment more than doubled the number of its clergy and built or enlarged several thousand churches in England and Wales. Between 1835 and 1876, the Church of England was consecrating on average one new or rebuilt church every four days. It embraced the cause of educating the population, gradually creating from 1833 a national system of parish schools and diocesan teacher-training colleges. As late as 1880, a decade after the Education Act had created the national system of rate-supported board schools, the Church of England was still educating two million primary school children, some seventy-three per cent of the total number. The Church pursued a vigorous home mission, supporting a host of mission clergy, scripture readers, district visitors, Anglican sisters, and deaconesses in deprived urban districts. It also took up the work of constructing colonial churches and overseas missions, founding and endowing some ninety bishoprics during the nineteenth century, sending thousands of clergy and mission workers to the colonies, and forming the worldwide Anglican Communion. And the Church paid for most of this growth through voluntary donations, as there was virtually no additional state funding for church building and the support of new clergy after 1824. [End Page 325]

The two books under consideration here reflect a growing scholarly recognition of the achievements of the nineteenth-century Church of England. Both books explore the considerable commitment and sacrifice which nineteenth-century Anglicanism could inspire. Building upon the work of such scholars of nineteenth-century Anglicanism as Arthur Burns, Frances Knight, John Wolffe, Jeremy Morris, Mark Smith, and Rowan Strong, the two books show the Victorian Church of England to have been remarkably effective in its home and overseas missions. While the old idea of a confessional state had ended with the major constitutional changes (repeal of The Test and Corporation Acts, Catholic emancipation, and parliamentary reform) between 1828 and 1832, the established Church of England remained a vibrant institution with broad support.

In Philanthropy and the Funding of the Church of England, 1856–1914, Sarah Flew addresses the vital question of how the Victorian Church of England raised the large amounts of money needed to finance its impressive church building and home mission campaigns. She focuses on London, and the major efforts that were made, especially under the leadership of A. C. Tait, Bishop of London from 1856 to 1868, to extend the Church's pastoral care and evangelical work in the more deprived districts of the rapidly growing city. As she demonstrates, the work of raising funds, overseeing the building of new churches, and supporting urban mission work was conducted primarily by voluntary associations in close connection with the diocese of London. These voluntary associations included fund-raising and grant-giving organizations (such as the Bishop of London's Fund or East London Church Fund), home mission organizations (such as the London Diocesan Home Mission or the Parochial Mission Women), and organizations to provide lay assistance to the hard-pressed clergy (including the Lay Helpers' Association and the Ladies' Diocesan Association). The associations had considerable success. In the single decade between 1863 and 1873, for example, the Bishop of London's Fund built one hundred ten new churches, enlarged many existing churches, and added two hundred new clergy in London. The Parochial Mission Women Association was employing some one hundred forty salaried home visitors in greater London by 1884, the London Diocesan Deaconess Institution was supporting some one hundred sixty salaried deaconesses to provide nursing and health care by 1913, and the Lay Helpers' Association provided some four thousand lay...


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