Glasgow and the Urban Challenge

Stewart J. Brown

in Thomas Chalmers and the Godly Commonwealth in Scotland

Published in print January 1983 | ISBN: 9780192131140
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191670039 | DOI:
Glasgow and the Urban Challenge

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The Church of Scotland in Glasgow remained virtually silent about social suffering and it divisiveness and the breakdown of traditional relationships within the social order. One of the results of the decline of parish institutions in Glasgow was the increasing role of the voluntary association in social welfare matters. Chalmers was not confident with the voluntary associations. At the same time as he revived the office of the visiting elder, he also drew upon lay assistance for a parish educational programme. Early in December 1816, he instituted the first parish sabbath-day society in Glasgow. He achieved considerable success in educating his upper-class lay visitors on his social views, particularly to the importance of encouraging the poor to help themselves, rather than patronizing them with charity in the manner of a voluntary philanthropic society. This chapter presents Chalmers's St. John system.

Keywords: Glasgow; social suffering; voluntary associations; parish educational programme; St. John system

Chapter.  28427 words. 

Subjects: Christianity

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