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The Lord helps those who help themselves: the U.P. laity in Glasgow

The Lord helps those who help themselves: the U.P. laity in Glasgow For formerly such significant institutions throughout nineteenth-century lowland Scotland, neither the United Presbyterian Church (1847-1900) nor its constituent denominations have received much attention since. This article explores, primarily from a social perspective, U.P. origins and growth in a city described as "the great stronghold of that body - the garrison from which they send out skirmish parties to all the world". Development is examined from eighteenth-century backstreets to a position of suburban pre-eminence attained across the late-Victorian "Second City of Empire". Assisting such transformation were interrelated - social, economic and cultural - developments in society. Nevertheless, an essential ingredient in U.P. success was its lay system of congregational management-ownership plus a close-knit membership whose commonality extended beyond church. Over time, an altering U.P. profile is best appreciated in both internal conflict and in shifting relations with the Free and Established Churches - issues again reflecting wider change. Critically assessed is the received U.P. stereotype, seemingly epitomised in surviving opulent suburb churches: new-money preachers of self-help, enthused by faraway mission, yet indifferent to the misery of Glasgow's slums. In reality the U.P.C. was strongly represented in poorer districts, places where it simultaneously attracted and repelled, and congregations served as microcosms http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Scottish Church History Edinburgh University Press

The Lord helps those who help themselves: the U.P. laity in Glasgow

Scottish Church History , Volume 39 (1): 34 – Jun 1, 2009

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Publisher
Edinburgh University Press
Copyright
Copyright © Edinburgh University Press
ISSN
2516-6298
eISSN
2516-6301
DOI
10.3366/sch.2009.39.1.4
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

For formerly such significant institutions throughout nineteenth-century lowland Scotland, neither the United Presbyterian Church (1847-1900) nor its constituent denominations have received much attention since. This article explores, primarily from a social perspective, U.P. origins and growth in a city described as "the great stronghold of that body - the garrison from which they send out skirmish parties to all the world". Development is examined from eighteenth-century backstreets to a position of suburban pre-eminence attained across the late-Victorian "Second City of Empire". Assisting such transformation were interrelated - social, economic and cultural - developments in society. Nevertheless, an essential ingredient in U.P. success was its lay system of congregational management-ownership plus a close-knit membership whose commonality extended beyond church. Over time, an altering U.P. profile is best appreciated in both internal conflict and in shifting relations with the Free and Established Churches - issues again reflecting wider change. Critically assessed is the received U.P. stereotype, seemingly epitomised in surviving opulent suburb churches: new-money preachers of self-help, enthused by faraway mission, yet indifferent to the misery of Glasgow's slums. In reality the U.P.C. was strongly represented in poorer districts, places where it simultaneously attracted and repelled, and congregations served as microcosms

Journal

Scottish Church HistoryEdinburgh University Press

Published: Jun 1, 2009

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