Remembering, Celebrating & Building On The Reformation Roots Of The UCC header image 2

The Charitable Ventures Of William Wilberforce

October 10th, 2007 · No Comments

In 2008, a documentary film called THE BETTER HOUR: The Legacy of William Wilberforce will be released.

The United Churches of Christ pride themselves on the fact that their forefathers in Congregationalist New England were zealous in a cause dear to Wilberforce’s heart: abolition.

While Wilberforce’s dream was realized peacefully thanks to his patient approach, his interests were much more comprehensive.  Hardly a “single issue” Christian, he reminds us that the Gospel of Jesus Christ offers a comprehensive call to service in every sector of God’s world.

The release of the documentary will be accompanied by a scholarly book to provide background and mental “fodder” for local gatherings to discuss the book and, hopefully, implement what they learn locally.

Here are the charitable ventures William Wilberforce involved himself in, thanks to the research done by the folks at The Better Hour

You can visit the site to also learn about their High School Contest

Wilberforce was associated with 69 societies, what we would call non-profit public service organizations—Wilberforce was Vice President of 29, on the Committee of 5, Governor of 5, Treasure of 1 and Patron of 1.

These societies included:

African Institution

Anti-Slavery Society

Auxiliary Bible Society of Clapham

Baptist Missionary Society

Bentham Panopticon Prison Project
The Bettering Society (a.k.a. The Society for Bettering the Condition and Increasing the Comforts of the Poor)

Board of Agriculture

British and Foreign Bible Society
British and Foreign School Society (with Jeremy Bentham, James Mill, and Francis Place)

British (later Royal) Institution

Cambridge Bible Society Auxiliary

Christian Observer

Church Missionary Society

Climbing Boy Society

Deaf Education
Education of indigent of friendless’ boys

Elland Society for supporting candidates to ministry in the Church of England

Friendly Society Act of 1793 (legal foundation of mutual benefit societies so prevalent in 19th cent. England

Friends of Foreigners in Distress (included John Quincy Adams)

German Relief Fund [1814]

Humanization of the English Criminal Code (with Samuel Romilly)

Intercessions on the Behalf of Convicts

Mendip Schools (founded by Hannah More)

Mohawk Indian Bibles (printing Bibles for the tribe)

National Gallery of Art
Penal reform

Potato growing to relieve hunger among poor

Religious Tract Society

Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

Rumford Eating Houses
St. Bartholomew’s Hospital (Wilberforce a governor)

Sierra Leone Company

Small-pox inoculation, compulsory urged by Wilberforce

Society for Agricultural Improvement

Society for the better Observance of Sunday

Society for the Discharge and Relief of Persons Imprisoned for Small Debts

Society for the Relief of the Manufacturing Poor

Society for the Suppression of Vice

Strangers’ Friend Society

Sunday School Society

Trustee Savings Banks

Source: F.K. Brown, Fathers of the Victorians: The Age of Wilberforce

Image courtesy

Tags: Ministry and Outreach · Society