To what extent does Brown, C. (2001) provide the most compelling argument regarding the loss of Britain’s historical title as a ‘Christian Country’? A historiographical study on the secularisation of Britain between the 19th and 21st

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To what extent does Brown, C. (2001) provide the most compelling argument regarding the loss of Britain’s historical title as a ‘Christian Country’?
A historiographical study on the secularisation of Britain between the 19th and 21st centuries.

  1. Introduction and Definition

Prior to Brown’s ground-breaking study in 2001, historians had traditionally viewed the 19th and early 20th centuries as the era in which Britain underwent a relatively long term process of secularisation. Political turmoil coupled with industrial, agricultural and intellectual revolutions were to bring about a new era of British living dominated by secular lifestyles and logical thinking. In contrast, revisionist historians such as Brown and Bruce look to evidence of religious harmony in the decades leading up to the notorious ‘swinging sixties’, the decade they claim to witness the true ‘death of Christian Britain’. According to such historians, Christianity was to remain throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries a vital component of British lifestyles. There are, as with any historical debate, compelling arguments on either side and by no means does Brown’s 2001 publication, The Death of Christian Britain, provide a definitive answer. Within this essay, however, both periods will be studied in detail to resolve the question of the extent to which Brown’s proposition can be entitled ‘most compelling’.

Initially, one should define secularisation as it connotes in British society. The National Secular Society defines secularisation as a principle involving two basic propositions: firstly, the “strict separation of the state from religious institutions”, and secondly that it ensures people of “different religions and beliefs [to be] equal before the law”.1 Such a definition, however, concerns only the legal and political aspects of secularisation, disregarding secularism as a social movement by which society has abandoned its close ties to religion through the decline or alteration in the individual’s systems of belief. With this in mind, the author will concentrate predominantly on the process as defined by Lecky (1865), describing the general abandonment of religion within European values and intellect, and focus on grass root alterations in belief and religious activity.

  1. Religious Conflict in Industrial Britain

The 19th Century was a hugely important era of world history. Beginning in Britain, technological advances beckoned in vast improvements in agricultural and industrial efficiency, known commonly as the ‘Industrial Revolution’. It was to irrevocably transform the lives of British people, increasing both workload and wages. At the same time, important medical progresses led to a momentous population boom, adding to the growing issue of mass urbanisation. Intellectually, it witnessed significant transformations in people’s way of thinking. The French and American Revolutions beckoned in new political ideologies, liberal and nationalist, producing an intellectual revolution. Such factors would inevitably lead to a development in the country’s religious status.

Unfortunately for the study of 19th century secularism, historians lack the help of nation-wide public opinion polls from which to deduce the people’s personal beliefs. McLeod tackles this problem through observing a series of other ‘pointers’.2 Firstly, he cites the presence of religious doubt as a theme in much of the century’s literature, peaking around the 1880s and 1890s. Books on the topic of loss of faith were fairly common, often boosting authors such as Dostoyevsky, Hardy and Butler to eminence. Perhaps the most significant publication of the era, as agreed by McLeod and Knoepflmacher, was the 1888 release of Ward’s bestseller Robert Elsmere. It called for the creation of a new secular church, ‘the Brotherhood of Jesus’, founded upon the ethics of Ward’s own liberal outlook on the matter of faith.3 One cannot assume this publication was a reflection of the general British ethos, for the novel was substantially autobiographical, using the character Elsmere to portray Ward’s own loss of faith. Neither were such publications representative of the majority of religious novels of the Victorian era. Rather, pro-religious novels dominated sales across the West, inducing notable theologians to take to novel-writing to gain popular hearing, with many bishops and cardinals achieving top sellers at the time. Matters of judgment, heaven and hell remained prominent in late Victorian literature4, though often challenging traditional perceptions as recognised by the Established Church. The writing of religious novels was, in the eyes of many, a sacred mission.5 Christianity in Britain, though being questioned, was rarely regarded as wholly incorrect and remained an emotionally capturing factor of British culture by the end of the 19th century.

Resulting from rapid expansions in the industrial and agricultural economy, the nation’s free time was declining. The popularisation of such recreations as football and the public house competed for this diminishing leisure time with the quiet conservatism that church life had to offer.6 For many, to choose the local public house over the quiet church became an increasingly easy choice. However, whilst this may partly explain a visible decline in attendance of the Established Church, it does not help in explaining the equally observable popularisation of alternative religious institutes. Robson’s survey in 1851, for example, analysed church-going in the Black Country, an area of industrialisation populated by mine and metal workers. Rather than proving a decline in churchgoing as a result of industrialisation, Robson was to discover a surprisingly high number of church goers compared to those within neighbouring rural areas.7

Such statistics were not particularly abnormal, with many new religious institutions, Methodism in particular8, capturing the dedication of much of the country.9 Church-going remained a way of life, though it differed dramatically due to the loss of strict regulation found within the catholic faith: to miss a Sunday service or communion were not regarded as acts of mortal sin within the growing liberal churches.10 Regardless, the majority of those in 19th Century and early 20th Century Britain would have continued to recognise themselves as members, though perhaps less actively so, of a church11. In regards to historians who have observed statistics to indicate a decline in church going, Cox has suggested that one cannot observe the decline in attendance amongst working-class men in Sunday church services without regarding the expansion of church activity.12 Victorian Christianity, in particular, was no longer restricted to a single Sunday service, instead adopting roles within a variety of activities. Thus, a decline in attendance does not represent a decline in faith but rather an alternative manifestation of religion. Politically, for example, the start of the 20th century saw the rise of the Independent Labour Party, a party broadly but not specifically supporting growing socialist philosophy and made up largely of Methodist members. It is undeniable that the success of this party was in part related to their Non-Conformist followings and according attraction to the working classes.13

3. Gender and the Church

Particularly for women, Sunday remained an important day for femininity: ladies young and old enjoyed preparing for Sunday services, much as they may prepare a Saturday night out in the modern day. The pressure to dress in one’s ‘Sunday best’ provided young women legitimacy in escaping the drabness of attire associated with the average weekday. Accordingly, church attendance brought a particular joy, though perhaps a joy divorced from the religious concepts of the services. Whilst young men, perhaps unsurprisingly, loathed the hassle of their Sailor or Eton suits, the choir presented an alternative attraction to the Sunday service. Church choirs played a large role in the lives of the typical young boy, particularly within rural areas, as it not only offered a time to socialise and provided an opportunity to ‘show off’ to the village or town, but additionally offered pay for those involved. Many interviewees within Brown’s Death of Christian Britain were bell-ringers if not performing in the choir. For young boys and girls, however, there was perhaps an even more important reason to go to church: to find love; “Church and religious organisations were the ‘singles bars’ and dating agencies of their time”. 1415

It is important to acknowledge the confusion of Brown’s argument, for on the one hand, he argues that a decline in attendance does not suggest a declining faith, yet on the other hand he cites examples of church remaining a staple part of British life for reasons not connected to faith at all. As Thomas Upton, an interviewee born in 1904 explains in regards to the attraction of the choir; "I don’t think [it] made me particularly religious, but it took me to church16”.

It is important, also, to observe a change in habit that took place in later life. Particularly, Brown suggests that married women typically rarely attended Sunday services, often staying at home to look after the youngest children and to prepare the Sunday lunch. Similarly, most working class fathers rarely attended church, particularly with the rising tendency for Christian institutions to preach to the common man as immoral, condemning acts such as gambling, drinking and smoking as wicked. Increasingly men were accused of being wrongdoers, leading to a decline in the attractiveness of the institution.

However, whilst a sense of belonging may have declined in many areas, believing did not. The family Bible was a common household artefact.17 Religiously based magazines such as the Christian Herald, Home Journal and Home Words, were widespread. But whilst Brown is able to name numerous magazines of a Christian nature in print at the time, one must be cautious of the true importance of such publications. Observing numerous cover pages of Home Journal18, for example, reveal only few which suggest that religion was the prevalent topic. Additionally, distribution was not particularly high, meaning it was subsequently out of print by the mid-1950s.19

Thus, one does not see a crucial decline of faith in a time of significant religious freedom and increasing ‘worldly distractions’ but expressions of faith away from the Established Church. The act of regular attendance at a Church remained, in the eyes of many, a religious and social duty;20 as did the church itself remain the prevailing institution of most and even of modernised industrial cities.21

Similarly, the fastest growing political party, the Independent Labour Party was to find success in its support of Non-Conformist Christianity, dominating the political spectrum by the 1918 election. The strongest intellectual forces then, as in the century past, “did not lie in its rejection of belief but rather in the new form of faith which it proclaims22”.23 Most importantly, the Bible remained at this point the ‘final authority’, and ultimate guide to life.

4. The Intellectual Revolution

The 19th century was to see a vast increase in pro-secular movements and Europe’s way of thinking would be shaped by influential individuals ranging from Marx to Nietzsche and scientific observers such as Darwin and Huxley.

The publication of The Origin of Species, for example, has often been thought to discredit Genesis’ story of creation. Certainly, many shared Darwin’s view that the evidence of numerous imperfections in nature and the extent of suffering that he observed in the animal kingdom, belittled the likelihood of a “beneficent and omnipotent God”. 24 However, the extent of conflict of the publication has been over-assumed. It is important to note that resulting debate was not between science and the church, but rather between a small handful of scientists such as Huxley and Tyndall. Furthermore, the defenders of faith were by no means inferior to the scientific arguments of Huxley and others.25 It is important, also, to note the room allowed in the theses of anti-clerical devotees such as Tyndall for religious presence and the new pro-Christian scientific theses, such as that of the ‘interventionists’, that were to find considerable support in the scientific world.

Similarly, one may be critical of A.D. Gilbert’s suggestion that religiosity was to face crisis in the 19th century as a result of medical advances belittling the necessity of reliance on religion as a solution to problems that humanity could not solve. Just as today, churchgoing remained an activity most popular amongst the upper-middle and upper classes; “the notion that motives for religious involvement’, then, ‘cannot be reduced to the search for help”.

Importantly, however, it would take until the later 20th Century for the foundations of a wide ranged, intellectually based process of secularisation to be established due, as we will see, to a growing culture of desire to learn the ‘alternative truths’, supported by an economy that allowed mass spending on scientific and philosophical publications. Until then, the intellectual secularisation movement was to remain contained amongst a small number of intellectual thinkers.

5. From Acceptance to Inquiry

Even by the 1950s, Brown suggests, Britain remained fixed in “a world profoundly conservative in morals and outlook26”. Light-heartedly naming the era as the ‘last Victorian decade’, Brown looks towards the successes of religious events, namely the preaching of Billy Graham, London 1954, that attracted an audience of nearly 2 million, and a further 1.2 million in Glasgow the following year. Similarly, Anglican baptisms were still to reach a post-war peak in 1950 with an astonishing 67 baptisms to every 100 births. As for the common argument of declining Christian marriages, McLeod points towards the geography of change, suggesting any noticeable decline to be restricted to London and Birmingham, where immigration was growing far more rapidly than in the rest of the country, coupled with a failure of community control due to the cities’ sizes. The ‘mental world’ which drew in worshippers remained “a national culture” only intensified by the hardships of the Second World War27, “widely broadcast… and deeply ingrained in the rhetoric with which people conversed about each other and… themselves28”. If this is the case, and the 1950s was truly a decade still dominated by British loyalty to the Christian faith, what does Brown suggest was to cause such a significant shift in British belief by the early 1960s?

It was, in the opinion of Brown, due to the loss of discursive power of the Christian faith. Up until the 1960s, the ‘salvation economy’ retained power over the British people to accept or otherwise alter the Christian faith. With the disappearance of such discursive power, secularisation became a possibility.29 The 1960s introduced a new decade of moral issues: the legality of abortion and homosexuality, the ease of divorce, the rise of women’s liberation movements and popular music, and a new cultural identity consisting of drugs, outrageous fashions and liberal, anti-war stances. Most importantly, it was an era in which the British public began questioning the concept of ‘self-evident truths’ and ‘agreed reality’ in favour of the ‘linguistic turn’; the church, science and social sciences were each to be the unsuspecting victims in the making.30 Specifically, it was the rise of post-structuralism and success of the feminist movement that would most challenge the traditional ideas of the church.

6. ‘It is the promiscuous girl who is the real problem here’

It is feminism in particular that Brown gives most authority. Returning to the topic of women’s magazines, Brown notes the decline or restructuring of established female magazines in the 1960s and the popularisation of publications such as Jackie, focussed on the concepts of individualism and the pursuit of love outside of the home. For the first time, women were shown beyond discourses of domesticity and inadequate career ambitions. There appeared a new breed of agony aunt, with characters such as Proops and Rayner treating women as equals within a relationship and tackling taboo issues of sexual relations. What Brown suggests, then, is a complete shift in the outlook of women – no longer domestic servants clinging to the strict expectations of a male dominated world, but independent figures fighting for fairer rights and taking pride in new lifestyles. Such was emphasised by numerous additional media outlets. The Beatles were taking Britain by stormcreating a culture of pop gigs, records and programming at the support of young females. 31 Lastly, we see a change in fashion, with the popularisation of mini skirt and bikini, symbolising the emancipation of femininity.

The importance of this may be seen in the context of a quote from the journal of the Baptist New Connexion, 1848:

“It is our mothers and our sisters that mould nations and impress communities. It is the nursery son, the impression of infantile years, the instructions of the fireside, that are to guide and influence.32

It was women who were, throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries to act as guardians of family piety, enforcing church going on their family and ensuring proper religious practice was conserved outside the home. From the 1960s, however, women were to dive head first into cultural revolution, discarding the shackles of religious expectation. However, change in female cultural identity is far from the only causation, as Brown suggests, in the rapid decay of Christendom from the 1960s. For further explanations, one may look to McLeod’s (2007) The Religious Crisis of the 1960s.

McLeod looks towards a different social group: the youth. The late 1950s33 welcomed in an era in which former luxuries became common household objects, economic boom allowing people an unprecedented freedom of choice. The youth, in particular, were given a greater choice of entertainment both inside and outside the home with the vast popularisation of, for example, the television, dancehalls and coffee bars. For the churches, this posed a challenge. If at one point the lives of teenagers revolved around the church for its ability to provide friendships, activities and simply a place to go, this was to change substantially in the 1960s. Having originally been heavily involved in the lives of British youths, Churches were in competition with an expansive range of alternative attractions. Their influence over youth culture, along with their popularity, quickly weakened.34

However, youth culture of the ‘Swinging Sixties’ challenged the church in a much more direct way. Youth began to become associated with, in the words of McLeod, “values of hedonism, unlimited experimentation … [and] the individual’s right to live life in their own way without regard for any external moral code35”. Teenagers were to spearhead a movement of sexual permissiveness and experimentation with narcotics that would challenge the foundations of Christian morals and explore avenues of spirituality characterised by pursuing out-of-body experiences via forbidden substances.

A development not restricted to any particular social group36was the “redrawing of boundaries between public and private37” that was to revolutionise the idea of what was and was not ‘taboo’. This sparked a change in attitudes in every corner of 1960s culture, from abortion to homosexuality, and, of course, the church. Specifically, whilst it was historically assumed that the questioning Christian teaching was not only bad manners but in practice limited to revolutionaries or ‘crazed fanatics’, the 1960s began to abandon such a view with the assistance of various controversial media publications.38 Christianity, however, was by this point far from abandoned. Religion remained a taboo topic of questioning or humour, and one often avoided by British mainstream media. That Was the Week That Was, for example, was to aggravate an unprecedented number of complaints at the airing of the sketch, “Why? A Consumer’s Guide to Religion”, despite its innocent intent to satirise not religion itself but the concept of ‘religion as a product’.

Similarly, behaviours considered mandatory for social acceptance were to disappear within the decade. Non-attendance of Sunday school or youth club was no longer regarded evidence of negligent parenting, nor were those who lacked being baptised observed as ‘unlucky’. The reasons for this centred upon the loss of community that came about in the era. Previously, actions such as sending one’s children to Sunday school, owning a Bible or refraining from taboo language were social norms and not to adhere to these would previously have caused controversy and even ostracisation.39 By the 1960s, it was common to ignore such norms as it became much easier to find a friend or family member who had also, for example, not gone to church, allowing one to the ‘point the finger’ and raise the question, ‘so why should I?’.

7. Christianity and the State

Economically, the 1960s was a time of prosperity in much of the Western states. It was such prosperity that allowed the youth to act against the social norms, acting out against their employers or colleges but able to find a job the following week with ease, and raising enough money to be able to experiment with drugs and alcohol as a result. Similarly, it gave some women the ability to live independently and not rely on a husband’s income.

In terms of the state, prosperity allowed for the UK to substantially expand its education system, establishing nine new universities in the decade alone. Initially, religious institutes could view this as a great advancement, for throughout the 1950s it had been college and university educated students who were the social group most likely to regularly attend church. By the 1960s, however, it would be this group who were most likely to actively abandon their religious ties. The practice of teaching sociology, often regarded as a direct challenge to religion, took precedence, alongside the popularisation of philosophies, most noticeably Marxism, that were to challenge the validity of religion itself. A new way of thinking took place, based on the belief that all unexplained phenomenon could be reduced to a logical and scientific discourse.

One of the most vital features in Britain’s loss of its historical title, although completely ignored by Brown, is the influx of immigration in the era. With the success of Northern European economies and unprecedented ease of travel, came new levels of immigration from across the globe, bringing with them a host of religions and practices. Even with the immigration of Christian populations from Ireland and the Caribbean, an initial feeling of rejection from traditional British churches sparked the creation of an array of new Pentecostal institutions. The presence of Muslims, alongside a small number of Hindus and Sikhs was becoming evident, though would erupt mostly in the following decade. New religious practices were widespread, and naturally challenged the traditional religious values held by conservative Britons. Religious Education was quickly adopted as a mandatory subject in schools, giving students new opportunities to learn about the world’s religions as opposed to the hitherto limited study of the Christian faith. Immigration, in diluting the country’s Christianity, redefined what Britain was to represent to the rest of the world; it was no longer a ‘Christian’ country, but a ‘Multicultural’ one. In the words of McLeod, “questions of the relationship between religion and the state, or religion and society, could now no longer be seen only in terms of Christianity40”.

8. Coming to Conclusions

The Church in Britain was fortunate in its avoidance of the revolutions that were to threaten the Church on the European Mainland. At no point, did the British church face a challenge like that of the 1948 Revolutions of France, Germany and Italy, intended to eradicate the power of the church in exchange for greater social equality. Undeniably, one can observe the breaking away from Christianity of a small but relatively significant group of intellectuals, writers and radical politicians by the 1940s, though such group is by no means representative of the British nation as a whole. It is more important, then, to observe the level of continuity that prevailed amongst the larger public.41 It is this part of the argument in which Brown prevails, uncovering the myths of 19th century secularisation through an ardent analysis of commonly quoted statistics and literature.

In contrast, Britain by 1970 had changed to an almost unrecognisable state. Traditional conservatism was to quickly vanish before a radical acceptance of varied lifestyles and, particularly amongst the youth, a desire for experimentation. The role of the church had been undermined not only by new technologies and a booming economy, but vast revolutions in the way of thought – individualism, spiritualism, the challenging of absolute truths – all of which thoroughly questioned the assumed ethics and certainties expounded by the Christian Church. In unprecedented numbers, women and the youth actively broke free from social pressures in order to live a life chosen solely by them, without concern for judgement from their peers and, increasingly, their God. So too did the country’s demographic radically shift with unprecedented influxes of immigrants bringing varied cultures and practices.

Brown was by no means incorrect in his original thesis, for it was indeed women who most felt the effects of change in the 1960s, and whose lives were altered most dramatically. However, to suggest that such a substantial and rapid decline of the Christian faith was caused by one determining factor is, as McLeod suggests, a drastic over simplification. Unfortunately, however, the ridding of Christendom in a country so historically drenched in the spreading, condensing and protection of the Christian faith opens itself to a number of explanations too varied to please all historians of the subject42. Instead, the decline in Christianity must be seen as part of a nationwide movement that was to extend to every part of society and politics that would alter the way in which the nation as a whole questioned a vast number of social assumptions. The decline of Christianity, then, was a direct result of a rapidly changing culture cultivated from a philosophy of rejection.

It is the fundamental contention of this author that, whilst the challenging of Christianity in Britain took its roots in centuries prior, and expanded in the 19th century43, one must see a larger picture of Christian obedience amongst the general population until the 1960s. However, it is not Brown who provides the most compelling argument regarding the loss of Britain title of a ‘Christian Country’ in this decade. Innovative as his 2001 publication may be, it appears inappropriate that one should assign a single causation to such a vast social development.44 Rather, one may look towards the explanations of McLeod45 for a wider account of factors that, unlike Brown’s, surpass merely the social, and find their roots in political and economic influences. McLeod is thus to portray the evolution of British society in a more complete and wide-ranging ‘bigger picture’ than that of Brown himself.

1 The National Secular Society. (Year Unknown). What is Secularism? Available: Last accessed 7th March 2012.

2 Mclead, H. (2000). Secularisation in Western Europe 1848-1914. London: Macmillan Press. 147.

3 Knoepflmacher, U.C. (1965). Religious Humanism and the Victorian Novel: George Eliot, Walter Pater, and Samuel Butler. New Jersey: Princeton University Press. 3.

4 Wheeler, M. (1990). Death and the future life in Victorian Literature and Theology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 69-219.

5 “The most glorious zenith of the religious novel’, then, ‘was indeed reached in the reign of Queen Victoria”. Maison, M. M. (1961). The Victorian Vision: Studies in the Religious Novel. New York: Sheed & Ward. 2-4.

6 This was particularly true amongst young men and boys for whom church implied “encasement in suits of stupefying grandeur and pretension, suits which imprisoned the spirit of the carefree physicality of puberty and adolescence”.
- Brown, C. (2001). The Death of Christian Britain: Understanding Secularisation 1800-2000. London & New York: Routledge. 139.

 See Robson, G. (1997). Religion and Irreligion in Birmingham and the Black County. University of Birmingham PhD. 81, 95-6.

 Though smaller groups such as the Mormons, Spiritualists and Theosophists were also on the rise and captivating the attention of much of the British public.

 Gilbert, A. D. (1976). Religion and Society in Industrial Britain. London & New York: Longman Publishing. 51-69.

 Though, importantly, such acts would have been frowned upon by one’s neighbours. (McLeaod, 2000: 172)

 McLeod, H. (1996). Religion and Society In England, 1850-1914. London: MacMillan Press. 11.

 McLeod (1996: 90) cites a ‘Co-op grocery worker’ who claims to have ‘used to live [at the church] nearly’ due to the not only religious but educational, musical and sporting activities provided by his Primitive Methodist chapel in Barrow.

 However, one should be cautious in evaluating this factor, for the ILP out rightly objected to the 1902 Education Act and, although did expand rapidly from the date of its creation, were still only able to hold 29 seats in the 1905 election.

 For a novel written on the topic of church and its attraction in regards to relationships amongst the youth, see Lodge, D. (1980). How Far Can You Go?. London: Martin Secker & Warburg Ltd. Also see Brown, 2001: 132.

 One interviewee, Molly Weir, stated “all of our romantic attachments… we met through church”.

 Brown, 2001: 137

 Many of the more wealthy households would contain many different copies of the Bible, as well as an abundance of other religious artefacts.

 Available at: Magazine Art. (Year Unknown). Ladies' Home Journal 1937-06 . Last accessed 20th March 2012.

 Sales figures for various women’s magazines available at: Mag Forum. (2008). Women's magazines - sales figures 1938-59 . Last accessed 20th March 2012.

 McLeod, 2000: 172

 McLeod, 1996: 13-14

 Cassirer, E. – taken from Stromberg, R. (1954). Religious Liberalism in Eighteenth Century England. London: Oxford University Press. 2.

 The First World War, for example, massively popularised the beliefs of Spiritualism due to its suggestion that those alive can contact the dead, thus giving comfort to the vast number of British widows. The movement remained, however, too small to be regarded as a significant reflection on the British ethos.

 “I cannot persuade myself that a beneficent and omnipotent God would have designedly created the Ichneumonidae with the express intention of their feeding within the live bodies of Caterpillars, or that a cat should play with mice”; Darwin, C. (1887). Life and Letters, vol. 2. 312.
- from Cosslett, T. (1984). Science and Religion in the Nineteenth Century. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 8.


 The Great Oxford Debate (1860), for example, came to a long drawn out stalemate between scientists, focusing not on the theology of evolution but rather the scientific validity of current theses.


 Brown, 2001: 6


 For more information about the effects of the Second World War see McLeod, H. (2007). The Religious Crisis of the 1960s. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 31-46.


 Brown, 2001:


 Brown, 2001: 175.


 Brown, 2001: 176.


 Song such as Love Me Do and I Want to Hold Your Hand, released within the early 1960s, vastly concentrated on the topic of boy-girl romance, promoting a type of casual relationship discouraged by the Church. This was not, however, as damaging to the Christian teachings as their work as it evolved from the mid-1960s, often focussed on concepts drug taking and spirituality. The band’s neglect of the Christian faith was strikingly mirrored in 1968 at their visit to Rishikesh, India.


 Brown, 2001: 59


 The late 1950s (most usually from 1958) is often counted as part of the ‘long sixties’, as opposed to the ‘short sixties’ which is thought to have started in 1963 with the ‘beginning of sexual intercourse’.


 Specifically, whilst Anglican Youth membership peaked in 1958 at 308,842, it was met by an 8% drop by 1960 and, whilst membership of Methodist youth groups peaked at 114,211, this figure had dropped to 89,640 by 1965.


 McLeod, 2007: 106.


 Though excluding much of the older generations.


 McLeod, 2007: 67


 Not least in 1962-3 with the television series That Was The Week That Was (TW3) which sparked media personality David Frost to note “…Fifties discipline, order and authority were, in the Britain of the early 1960s, not only stifling but discredited as well. And getting more discredited with every week that TW3 was on the air”. McLeod, 2007:70


 This is however much more true of the more tight-knit areas. More urbanised cities such as London and Manchester would have experienced a decline in such a culture many years prior, as larger cities become less absorbed in the idea of community.


 McLeod, 2007: 122


 Noticeably even boosted in the years directly following the Second World War.


 McLeod, 1996: 4


 More so, as it has already been mentioned, on the greater continent of Europe rather than the British Isles.


 It is by no means my intention, however, to belittle the importance of women in their role of diminishing Christian social values, for it remains an extremely important factor, though only one of many.


 Particularly his publications of the new millennium, for much of his work dated before the publication of The Death of Christian Britain, he will openly challenge in his 2007 publication, The Religious Crisis of the 1960s.

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