Relations Between Labour Party and Christian Churches in England at the End of XIX – the First Third of the XX cc.

Olha Buturlimova

Post-graduate student, Faculty of History, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv

UDC 94: 329 (410) Лейб



The article traces the responses of the Church of England, Roman – Catholic Church and “free churches” on the development of the Labour Party. The author underlines that Labour party was assisted by those Christian churches. It is mentioned also that Labour Church and Ethic Church as Labour supporters too.

The article touches upon such problems as social inequality in British society, secularization of the working class in urban cotton towns and ports. Anglican Church’s help to the low-income working class is investigated also.

The author underlines that British Labour party was deeply influenced by Christian Socialism so it made its relations with Church of England closer. Chaplains supported the Labour party in their sermons, letters and church press. Such favour was especially crucial in rural areas where Labour party had lower election results in comparison with Liberal and Conservative parties.

The author analyses contribution of the “free churches” to the development of the Labour party. It is widely recognized that “free churches” are identified as traditional ally of the Liberal party. The author confirmed that “free churches” did not give wide electoral support to the Labour party but gave considerable amount of candidates who were active in trade unions, local Labour parties and in the British Parliament.

The author also considers that the Roman – Catholic communities mainly represented by Irish immigrants and their descendants as an important part of the wide social base of the Labour Party.

The author comes to conclusion that strong ties between Christian churches and the British Labour party help us to explain its program and election successes in the first third of the XX century.

Key words

Labour Party, Christian Socialism, Church of England, Roman – Catholic Church,” free churches”, Nonconformity, working class.

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