Labour church and allied movements of the late 19th and early 20th centuries
Summers, David Fowler
The Labour Church, in its early stages, was the product of two main factors: the man whose idea gave it birth, and the movement within which it found its life. We shall discuss each of these before we turn our attention to the church itself, for apart from this background the events are inexplicable. Initially the Labour Church was the creation of one man. Though it quickly assumed an independence which led to its development in other directions, its form was moulded to a great degree by its founder who has been described by one who knew him wellt as a poet and a prophet. Poet he was in temperament if not in the product of bis pen (though his writings are often more than mere prose2); and prophet he was in speaking to the imperative needs of his day if not in recalling men to a more orthodox doctrine (though his faith demanded a return to Christian moral standards). In these respects the Labour Church followed him, for, in the growing Labour movement, its inspiration was that of poet and its role was that of prophet.