Industrial Chaplaincy

The 1934 Conference adopted a Report on 'A Christian View of Industry in relation to the Social Order' (revised, 1960), a response to the concern shown by writers like R.H. Tawney and William Temple over the separation of industrial society and the Churches. In the 1950s the Home Mission and Christian Citizenship Committees, in the context of discussions at the British Council of Churches, began to consider industrial chaplaincy as a means of evangelism amongst those working in industry. It was envisaged that chaplains would see this as part of their circuit work and recognized that the responsibility of representing the Churches in industry belonged primarily to the lay people employed there. A Church in Industry Committee was established in the Home Mission Department. The reports Work and Witness (1975) and Shaping Tomorrow (1981) and the 'Luton Papers' set out to educate Methodists about industrial matters and to encourage lay witness to the faith. A few full-time industrial chaplains were appointed to work ecumenically. They were paid by the Church and their appointment was approved by management and employees in the factories they visited.

See also Luton Industrial College.

  • Stephen Willey, 'Workplace Chaplaincy - a Contemporary View', in Epworth Review, 37:4 (December 2010), pp.34-39