Fellowship of Reconciliation, England

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

This collection consists of the records of the main Fellowship of Reconciliation, England, mainly minute books of the various committees and sub-groups of the organisation. Also included are albums of press cuttings and other ephemera relating to F T Haddon Bradley's conscientious objection in 1917. An additional deposit of materials in 2010 contains annual reports (1987-2007), publications (1960s-2010), photographs (1980s-2000s) and papers of related peace organisations (mainly 1990s-2002).

The papers of the London Union of the Fellowship are in FOR.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Fellowship of Reconciliation was founded in Cambridge 1914 by a group of pacifist Christians. During the summer of 1914 an ecumenical conference of Christians who wanted to avert the approaching war was held in Switzerland. However, war broke out before the end of the conference and, at Cologne station, Henry Hodgkin, an English Quaker, and Friedrich Siegmund-Schulze, a German Lutheran, pledged themselves to a continued search for peace with the words, "We are at one in Christ and can never be at war". Inspired by that pledge, about 130 Christians of all denominations gathered in Cambridge at the end of 1914 and set up the FoR, recording their general agreement in a statement which became 'The Basis' of the FoR, namely:

1) That love as revealed and interpreted in the life and death of Jesus Christ involves more than we have yet seen, that is the only power by which evil can be overcome and the only sufficient basis of human society.

2) That, in order to establish a world-order based on Love, it is incumbent upon those who believe in this principle to accept it fully, both for themselves and in relation to others and to take the risks involved in doing so in a world which does not yet accept it.

3) That therefore, as Christians, we are forbidden to wage war, and that our loyalty to our country, to humanity, to the Church Universal, and to Jesus Christ our Lord and Master, calls us instead to a life-service for the enthronement of Love in personal, commercial and national life.

4) That the Power, Wisdom and Love of God stretch far beyond the limits of our present experience, and that He is ever waiting to break forth into human life in new and larger ways.

5) That since God manifests Himself in the world through men and women, we offer ourselves to His redemptive purpose to be used by Him in whatever way He may reveal to us.

The FoR supported conscientious objectors during World War I and was a supporter of passive resistance during World War II. In 1919, representatives from a dozen countries met in Holland and established the International Fellowship of Reconciliation, which now has many branches in all five continents.

Arrangement

The records of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, England, have been catalogued in 7 sections:

  • 1. General Committee, 1915-1960
  • 2. Council Minutes, 1915-1937
  • 3. Executive Committee, 1918-1953
  • 4. Publication and Propaganda Committees, 1915-1962
  • 5. World War I Committees Minutes, 1915-1921
  • 6. Minutes of Post World War I Committees, 1929-1962
  • 7. Other Papers, c1910-1945
  • 8. Papers deposited in 2010

Conditions Governing Access

Open, available for consultation by appointment only in the LSE Library Reading Room. Further details on accessing the Reading Room can be found here.

Other Finding Aids

A detailed online catalogue is available here.

Alternative Form Available

Part of the Fellowship of Reconciliation archive has been microfilmed and is available in the LSE library.Film 272 - "Archives of the Fellowship of Reconciliation. Part 1, Minute Books and Committee Papers, 1915-1960.Published by Harvester Microform Publications in 1987 as part of Pacifism, Disarmament and International Reconciliation; Series 2.

Conditions Governing Use

No material may be published without the prior permission of both the copyright holder and the Library. All applications for publication must be made to the Archivist in the first instance, but responsibility for ensuring copyright clearance rests with the user.

Related Material

The LSE Archives also hold the papers of Fellowship of Reconciliation, London Union (Reference: FOR).

Print collections: The LSE Library Printed Collections hold some publications by the Fellowship of Reconciliation, including incomplete sets of newsletters and journals.

Other Fellowship of Reconciliation archives in the UK:

  • Fellowship of Reconciliation in Wales - National Library of Wales.
  • Fellowship of Reconciliation: Birmingham branch - Birmingham: Archives, Heritage and Photography Service.
  • Fellowship of Reconciliation: Cambridge branch - Cambridgeshire Archives.
  • Fellowship of Reconciliation: Norwich branch - Norfolk Record Office.