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#ThrowbackThursday: Stewardship moves back to its roots

By Ruth Leigh | 5 June 2014

#throwbackthursday: Stewardship is moving back to its roots

Looking back, moving forward, Stewardship moves back to its roots - into the City of London.


Over a century ago in 1906, 11 men - all members of the Brethren Church, sat around a table in North London, to witness the birth of something unique: the United Kingdom Evangelization Trust (UKET).


In a class conscious Edwardian era, to have in the same room a baronet, a stockbroker, a dairy farmer, a bank clerk, a chemist, a merchant, an engineer, a clerical worker, a builder, an evangelist and a physician as equals was little short of a revolution.


While the main function of UKET was to act as trustees to church properties, the whole venture was built on the foundations of generosity and evangelism.


One of the trustees, Arthur Boake, put a huge amount of time and energy into funding and building Cholmeley Hall in Highgate, pictured in this historic photograph. Moving out of London, he wanted to protect the church's future and duly offered it to the Elders. They refused to take the property on since, they said, Jesus could come back at any time and so it was a waste to concentrate on mundane earthly matters.


The ever practical Mr Boake transferred the ownership of the building to UKET after firing off an exasperated letter to the Elders, ending with the telling phrase 'Oh ye of little faith.'


This 'can do' attribute, embracing the practical, the financial and the spiritual was at the heart of the Trust and has remained so throughout UKET's growth and eventual evolution into modern day Stewardship.


108 years after that historic meeting, this month, Stewardship is returning to London. The buildings, the fashions, and the technology may have changed beyond all recognition, but the values and core beliefs of that first meeting remain the same: God-centred generosity, equality, evangelism and strengthening and resourcing the UK Church.


Here's to our next century of transformational generosity!


Photo credit: Cholmeley Hall, London: Reproduced by courtesy of the University Librarian and Direcotr, The John Rylands University Library, The University of Manchester

Posted by Ruth Leigh

Ruth is a freelance writer and speaker, based in beautiful Suffolk. She is married with three children and a variety of other livestock. She has two novels in the editing stage, writes for a number of Christian charities and writes blogs for small Suffolk businesses. She is a recovering over-achiever who is now able to do the school run in her onesie most days. She contributes to the Association of Christian Writers’ blog, More Than Writers, and also blogs at Big Words and Made Up Stories, covering topics as diverse as King Zog of Albania, a Christingle plagued by punch-ups and tummy upsets, and the inevitable decline of elderly parents. She has abnormally narrow sinuses and a morbid fear of raw tomatoes, but has decided not to let this get in the way of a meaningful life.


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