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The Dissenters Volume IIIThe Crisis and Conscience of Nonconformity$
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Michael R. Watts

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198229698

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198229698.001.0001

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‘The future rests with the Free Churches’

‘The future rests with the Free Churches’

Free Church Union and the Welsh Revival

Chapter:
(p.214) 13 ‘The future rests with the Free Churches’
Source:
The Dissenters Volume III
Author(s):

Michael R. Watts

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198229698.003.0023

This chapter discusses how faltering church growth led to church union and the successful revival movement in Wales in the early twentieth century. Between 1900 and 1906, the combined membership of the five main Methodist denominations — Wesleyans, New Connexion, Primitive Methodist, Bible Christian, and United Free Methodist — and of the Baptists and Congregationalists rose by 10.6 per cent or 129,475. Total Free Church membership in England and Wales rose by 13.17 per cent from 1,911,924 in 1899 to 2,201,848 in 1906. By that latter date, Free Church membership in England and Wales exceeded the number of Anglican Easter communicants by nearly 100,000.

Keywords:   church unity, church membership, Methodists, revival movement, revivalism, Dissent, Wales, England, Baptists, Congregationalists

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