This chapter discusses the relationship between government and the people in the twentieth century, and its deleterious effects on Christianity, charity, and civic democracy. The shift from voluntary to state social provision was significant not only for politics and social policy, but also for religion. Parochial charities linked church members, especially women, to churches or congregations. With the creation of the welfare state, which had the blessing of leading churchmen, these institutions lost their social purpose, which contributed to Christian decline. As Christian conviction waned, so too did traditions of charitable ministration and voluntary social service, which in the past had been crucial to the growth of participatory democracy.
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