Reasons the Welsh Revival of 1904 faded

Question 143, from Phil, Germany

I was interested to read what you wrote about the Welsh Revival. There seems to be a general reluctance in Christians to get involved with politics and social issues which you mention. Do you think that if those in the revival had been more involved in politics, the First World War could have been avoided. Or were those in the revival so far removed from politics of the day – in class, education and social and financial power – that it would have been impossible?

NB – In this previous freelance theology article, brief references are made to the shortening of the revival by two profound events. These were the First World War, and the rise of Socialism, which took hold in the mining communities of South Wales in particular in the first few decades of the 20th century.

Realistically it is impossible to state one way or the other the effects of the Welsh Revival, had it impacted significantly among the political class. Given that Wales was mostly regarded as a primitive provincial backwater, it’s very unlikely that even had the revival profoundly changed the outlook of those in power in Wales, that the First World War would have been prevented.

It is perhaps simplistic to look at the ‘Great War’ and the rise of Socialist politics as the reasons why the Welsh Revival faltered. Certainly these were key external factors. But there were a number of internal factors to contend with too.

Fair Trade – “a prophetic resurrection act”.

Jon the freelance theologian preached this address at the 10th Anniversary Thanksgiving Service for Fair Do’s Ltd, Cardiff’s premier fair trade shop, on 4 October 2008.

A few years ago my friend Nick, who told us why he is thankful for Fair Do’s earlier, was interviewing various people about why they were involved in fair trade. It was for some academic paper; I have to admit I don’t know the details. Having talked to Nick, I wasn’t sure he knew the details either, but I agreed to do an interview.

So we sat and we chatted about fair trade, and I explained how and why I would identify my faith as an integral reason for being passionate about fair trade. Now I realise not everyone here would identify themselves as a Christian, and if you aren’t thank you for coming and celebrating with us anyway, but for me, and many of us at Fair Do’s our faith and our commitment to fair trade are intertwined.

Fair trade meshes with the Christian story for many reasons. (more…)