Regnal League

A WM minister Donald Standfast (1884-1951; e.m. 1908) with a particular concern for the welfare of young people and involved in the early Scout movement, served in World War I, first as a private and then as a chaplain during the Battle of the Somme. In 1918 he formed the 'League of Friendship' at Bethune, with branches throughout the British Army. After the war this developed into the Regnal League with the ideal of wholeness of life and the aims of developing body, mind and spirit through Christian fellowship and service. Local groups, known as 'Circles' were attached mainly, but not exclusively, to Methodist churches. Women's Circles were also formed and at its height the League had nearly 400 Circles. These were reduced to fewer than 50 by the end of World War II. After 'Padre' Standfast's death leadership passed to David ('Dai') Samuel (1907-1993).

At the Methodist Church Congress in Bristol in 1929, Herbert J. Holloway, the League's treasurer, spoke on 'The Church's Attitude towards the Call of Youth'. With an eye on conservative criticism of Regnalism as not sufficiently explicit in its religious commitment, he summed up its stance as belief in 'religion as life itself'.


'Life is the gift of God. All life comes from Him and belongs to Him. Life is a great gift, and is to be used for the highest ends, developed to the fullest. We believe in the all-round life in which a man develops all sides of his nature - physical, mental, and spiritual.

'Worship is essential to a Regnalite. He believes in God - then obviously he must worship God. You can't believe in a God and not worship Him.'

H.J. Holloway, in Methodism: its Present Responsibilities (1929) p.114

  • Methodist Recorder,15 Nov 1951
  • David Samuel, No Silver Spoon (1993), pp.33-41

Entry written by: JAV
Category: Organisation
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