The British section of a world-wide fellowship of students desiring ‘to understand the Christian faith and live the Christian life’. It developed out of several independent movements at Cambridge and elsewhere in the later 19th cent. As a body drawing its membership from all Christian communions (since the Second Vatican Council including RCs), it cultivated an outlook akin to that of the Ecumenical Movement, many of whose leaders had earlier been associated with it. After the Second World War it failed to find a role in the new universities and allied itself with ephemeral radical movements; by the 1990s it had virtually disappeared. The publishing house which it had developed became independent of the SCM in 1989.