Papers of Joy Guy

Scope and Content

The collection primarily consists of material relating the work and research of the academic Joy Guy; including research notes, handwritten drafts of articles, preparations for academic talks, papers, seminars and conferences, and copies of her publications.

A good proportion of the material relates to Guy’s work in the field of social work, detailing in particular the challenges faced by Christians, both in social work and academia. There are also numerous academic articles on related subjects, and copies of journals containing articles by Guy.

The collection also includes an extensive number of Guy’s notes on bible studies, her preparations for study meetings at local worship groups, printed material from Christian events, and occasional correspondence relating to her work.

The items are arranged in folders; some of which are organised on a specific theme, and some with no clear structure.

Administrative / Biographical History

Joy Guy (1929 – 2010) was born to a Brethren couple in Bath, studying at Bedford College, London, before moving on to the London School of Economics, where she spent a year preparing for social work. During this period, she was actively involved with the London Inter-Faculty Christian Union.

Between 1955 and 1960 Guy worked as an almoner in the United Bristol Hospitals, worshiping during this time at Alma Chapel, Bristol. From 1960 to 1963 she worked at the Westminster Hospital, where she was involved in the formation of the Social Work Christian Fellowship.

She was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship in 1963, studying a Master’s degree in Social Science at Smith College, Massachusetts, before obtaining a lectureship in social work in 1966 at the University of York. At York she was tasked with shaping a new department and degree course, which lead to her appointment as Assistant Director at the Central Council for Education and Training in Social Work (CCETSW) in London in the early 1970s.

Along with the Rev. John Stott, Myra Chave-Jones and others, she established Care and Counsel in London, offering professional psychotherapy to Christians. In addition, she was Chairman of the Christian Brethren Research Fellowship, and was a member of Cholmeley Evangelical Church in Highgate for more than ten years.

Following an unsuccessful back operation, Guy was left in severe pain for nearly thirty years, retiring to Gloucestershire. However she maintained contact with evangelicals and academics in the Oxford area, encouraging Bible studies, home groups and Lenten courses in the parish church, supporting the small assembly at Quenington. After the failure of that church, she was instrumental in bringing an inter-denominational, non-denominational church plant into being in the building.


Original order has been maintained within the folders of the collection. Loose papers and booklets have been gathered together and placed in a folder entitled 'Untitled Folder containing papers and bible study notes'.

Access Information

The collection is open to any accredited reader.

Acquisition Information

Helen M. Watkins

Conditions Governing Use

Photocopies and photographic copies of material in the archive can be supplied for private study purposes only, depending on the condition of the documents.

A number of items within the archive remain within copyright under the terms of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988; it is the responsibility of users to obtain the copyright holder's permission for reproduction of copyright material for purposes other than research or private study.

Prior written permission must be obtained from the Library for publication or reproduction of any material within the archive. Please contact the Head of Special Collections, John Rylands Library, 150 Deansgate, Manchester, M3 3EH.

Custodial History

The collection was acquired by Helen W. Watkins (Joy Guy’s niece) on Guy’s death, and donated to the Christian Brethren Archive at the John Rylands University Library in May 2011.


None expected.

Related Material

The papers of the Christian Brethren Research Fellowship, of which Guy was Chairman, can also be found in the Christian Brethren Archive at the University Archive and Records Centre, Manchester University Library.


Summerton, Neil, 'Obituaries: Joy Guy 1929 - 2010'. [Copy in Christian Brethren Archive: JGP/1/10]

Corporate Names