The trust was set up in 1925 on the suggestion of S.E, Keeble by the WM layman J.H. Beckly of Plymouth. Under the terms of the Trust an annual lecture is given during the Methodist Conference 'to set forth the social implications of Christianity and to further...the expression of the Christian attitude in reference to social, industrial, economic and international subjects'. The first was given in 1926 by Sir Josiah Stamp on The Christian Ethic as an Economic Factor. Other early lecturers included Eleanor Rathbone MP, the controversial Dean of St. Paul's, W.R.Inge (1930) and Archbishop William Temple (1943).
The lecturer in 1933 was to have been the German pacifist Dr. Sigmund Schultze, but he was refused permission by Hitler to leave the country.
In addition to the lectures, the Trust has also published series of pamphlets and 'occasional papers'.