RepositoryChurch of England Record Centre
LevelFonds
Alt Ref NoCRL
Extent18 volumes, 4 files
TitleChurch Reform League
Date1895-1955
DescriptionEight volumes of minute books of the Church Reform League, including one as the Church Self-Government League dated 1929-1937.
Minute books CRL/2,CRL/3 and CRL/8 had many loose documents inserted into the volumes; these have been removed and collected in separate files in their original order and with a note of where they were found in each volume.

The collection includes a file of annual accounts, although these are incomplete. The cheques and petty cash book of the Westminster Group and the Church Reform League 1937-1947 are recorded in one volume which includes the accounts of the Incorporated Free and Open Church Association 1938-1939.

Church Reform League Leaflets nos. 1-49 are bound in one volume. Church Reform League Quarterly Chronicle volumes II-XII are bound in eight volumes covering the period 1902-1924. The last of these volumes has some Church Reform League leaflets bound into the back of the volume and an essay on church self-government.

There is also a file of correspondence of Mr. W.H. Coles, the secretary of the Westminster Group and Church Reform League dating 1940-1955.
LanguageEnglish
AdminHistoryThe original Church Reform League was inaugurated at Church House, Westminster, on 27 November 1895. Its main principle was that "church reform should be carried out by the Church herself through her own assemblies." (Constitution CRL/12 Leaflet 2) The members also, in varying degree, advocated an extended role for the laity in Church government and administration; Diocesan Trusts to administer endowments and appointments to livings; and that the clergy should hold office only "during the adequate performance of duties." (Leaflet 2) The CRL did not want disestablishment.

In 1929 the CRL merged with the Incorporated Free and Open Church Association as the Church Self-Government League. (The earlier body known as the Church Self-Government Association was quite independent. It was dissolved on 21 January 1920- see CRL/5 pp 272-3)

Following the merger in 1937 with the Westminster Group, the body became known as the Westminster Group and Church Reform League. From c.1947 the name Westminster Group was dropped and the title became once again the Church Reform League.

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Related name records
CodeNameDates
GB/109/13374Church Reform League; 1895-1895-
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