Faith, charity and citizenship

Eliza Filby

in The Ages of Voluntarism

Published by British Academy

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780197264829
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191754036 | DOI:

Series: British Academy Original Paperbacks

Faith, charity and citizenship

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This chapter explores the oppositional role of the voluntary sector in a period of hardship and social unrest, considering the Anglican Church's response to Thatcherism. Despite secularisation and declining denominational identity, the Church was still a central part of the charitable and welfare sector in the 1980s, when the Thatcher governments championed the role of voluntarism in retraining and work schemes, in an era of mass unemployment. However, its response to Thatcherism was complex and internally divided. Church Action with the Unemployed (CAWTU) was framed in a ‘non-political’, paternalistic way, whereas 1985's Faith in the City report provided a critique of the underlying causes of poverty, articulating an opposition to reactionary social thought that can be traced back to nineteenth-century Christian Socialism.

Keywords: Anglican Church; Thatcherism; faith; voluntarism; unemployment; charity; citizenship; welfare sector; Churc Action with the Unemployed

Chapter.  9363 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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