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Title: The Islington conference
Author(s): Bebbington, David William
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Editor(s): Atherstone, A
Maiden, J
Citation: Bebbington DW (2014) The Islington conference. In: Atherstone A & Maiden J (eds.) Evangelicalism and the Church of England in the Twentieth Century: Reform, Resistance and Renewal. Studies in Modern British Religious History. Woodbridge, Suffolk: Boydell Press, pp. 48-67.
Issue Date: 2014
Date Deposited: 8-Jul-2016
Series/Report no.: Studies in Modern British Religious History
Abstract: First paragraph: The Islington Conference (usually called in earlier years the Islington Clerical Meeting or Clerical Conference) existed for over a century and a half, beginning in 1827. Every year it was a central meeting place for Anglican evangelicals, rivalling the May Meetings of the religious societies in the Exeter Hall. According to an editorial in their own Record newspaper in 1872, the gatherings at Islington contained ‘the very essence of Evangelicalism’. It was recognised in the newspaper that the addresses given at this annual event, held each January, provided the opportunity for evangelical leaders in the Church of England to expound an authoritative view of contemporary issues. The gatherings, according to the Record, ‘form a test of the position of the party and a gauge of its opinions and prospects such as no other Meeting supplies’.[1] Country clergy would come up on the train, sometimes for a day, sometimes for more than one day, to enjoy themselves fraternising, but also to hear the leaders announce what evangelicals should endorse. The conference was not necessarily held at Islington, despite the name, but it was still called the Islington Conference because the suburb was the early evangelical centre within the capital where the gathering began. The Islington Clerical Conference is the best index of the Anglican evangelical standpoint over a very long period [1] Record, 19 January 1872.
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