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Anglican Emigrant Chaplaincy in the British Empire and Beyond, c.1840–1900

Strong, R. (2018) Anglican Emigrant Chaplaincy in the British Empire and Beyond, c.1840–1900. Studies in Church History, 54 . pp. 314-327.

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In the 1840s the Church of England, through the agency of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel (SPG) and the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge (SPCK), established an official chaplaincy to emigrants leaving from British ports. The chaplaincy lasted throughout the rest of the nineteenth century. It was revitalized in the 1880s under the direction of the SPCK in response to a surge in emigration from Britain to the colonies. This article examines the imperial attitudes of Anglicans involved in this chaplaincy network, focusing on those of the 1880s and 1890s, the period of high imperialism in Britain. It compares these late nineteenth-century outlooks with those of Anglicans in the emigrant chaplaincy of the 1840s, in order to discern changes and continuities in Anglican imperialism in nineteenth-century Britain. It finds that, in contrast to the imperialist attitudes prevalent in Britain during the late nineteenth century, Anglicans in this chaplaincy network focused more on the ecclesiastical and pastoral dimensions of their work. Indeed, pro-imperial attitudes, though present, were remarkably scarce. It was the Church much more than the empire which mattered to these Anglicans, notwithstanding their direct involvement with the British empire.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Arts
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Copyright: © 2018 Ecclesiastical History Society
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