Christian Commando Campaigns

Colin A. Roberts, Secretary of the Home Mission Department in 1939, was concerned about the shape post-war society would assume. In 1940 Conference adopted a Forward Movement Report recommending plans for evangelistic work over a period, in co-operation with other Free Churches and the CofE where possible. Out of this grew the Commando Campaigns, which adopted the military idea of trained people making forays into places where the gospel was not normally heard - works canteens, cinemas, clubs, pubs, schools, colleges etc. Their theme was 'New Men for a New World'. Roberts provided the Team Leaders and Team Members, but arrangements for campaigns in the larger urban areas were made locally. They reached a climax in Greater London in 1947, with an inaugural rally in the Royal Albert Hall on 14 April. Those who participated in the Campaigns found that it profoundly changed the nature of their ministry.William Gowland was an outstanding example of this.

  • Colin A. Roberts, These Christian Commando Campaigns (1945)
  • Douglas J. Cock, Every Other Inch a Methodist (1987) pp.48-50, 57-9
  • David Gowland and Stuart Roebuck, Never Call Retreat: a biography of Bill Gowland (1990) pp. 55-72
  • William Gowland papers in Westminster College archives, Oxford