In which the justification of a forgotten man is that his work as a pioneer of methods of the promotion of social change is of direct relevance to the ongoing problem of how to put policy into practice.
Why bother? To what purpose? Am I having a happy time just rustling through the memorabilia of life at the turn of the century because it is typical Edwardian stuff – all Kipling and Mansfield and Liverpool in its glory days before World War I? Great waves of nostalgia for the life of the River as I once knew it engulf me in an enthusiasm for writing it down before it is all forgotten. Am I the victim of my own sentiment? Or is there something here of real importance to us today and for the future? Did those who cared about the life of the city and the people of Liverpool have a vision of what could and ought to be? And is it because we have lost sight of that vision that the dream of a better world that we once cherished lies buried in the past? By blowing in the ashes of that forgotten vision can we perhaps recover the sense of direction, for lack of which we now drift helplessly, and rekindle our belief?
I am impelled to put pen to paper in support of this contention because I have reached that stage when I feel called upon to account for the way in which I have spent my life, that God-given resource that has been my heritage. By chance, the span of my years in Liverpool coincides quite literally with that of the era of social history which the end of the century so dramatically marked. Born in 1906, I have lived most of my adult life in Liverpool. I had not expected to outlive the century which encompassed my being. All that time, my guiding star has been the dream of a society in which the urge to self-fulfilment can be achieved through the service of others.
It is because that principle of the right of the individual to share in the common responsibility for the well-being of all is now in such danger of extinction that I am moved to make this one last plea for its regeneration.
In which D'Aeth's services as an administrator win universal recognition. The launch of the National Council of Voluntary Service confirms his commitment to coordination as the necessary prerequisite for social advance. Liverpool becomes the flagship of the drive for a new system of social administration devised to meet the public need.
D'Aeth emerged from the war with his reputation greatly enhanced and his commitment to the coordination of voluntary effort as being essential to social advance wholly confirmed. Indeed, it might even be said that the war for him had been no more than an exceptional opportunity to put to the test the conclusions at which he had already arrived on the basis of his previous experience. The immense task of regeneration following the declaration of peace was therefore for him an exciting and challenging opportunity to put his convictions into practice and to this he responded with his characteristic zeal. So much so that it is difficult to know where to start in reducing the welter of his interests to a straightforward narrative on a printed page. His intuitive grasp of the relevance of individual activity to that of the society in which it occurred meant that in his mind, his wide range of contacts and activities were inextricably interlocked. Moreover, his involvement in any particular project was always an ongoing one and not simply a one-off episode, so that the overall picture cannot be presented as a neat chronological package.
If it is difficult for the biographer to summarise all that he did in those busy post-war years, how much more so must it have been for D'Aeth himself to reduce his task to manageable order. He was confronted by the unprecedented onset of change and flux, upon which he embarked without the assistance of any preconceived plan of action or declared policy. Instead, as always with him, his strategy was simply to make such modest response as he could to some immediate need, and to learn by doing what the next step would be. The outcome was a medley of contacts and interests which obscures his real purpose.
THE last eight years have seen a significant change in the size and composition of the UK higher education student population. Framed by inconsistent government policy, tight funding arrangements (for both students and institutions) and a widening participation agenda encouraging more diversity than ever before, the complexity, pace and magnitude of this change has challenged the integrity of every higher education institution (HEI).
As the sector strives to meet the government's current inclusion target of 50 per cent of all 18–30-year-olds entering higher education by 2010, and influenced by the recent publication of a White Paper, HEIs are today having to embrace marketing and create a more student-focused culture. In welcoming this as an opportunity, Liverpool Hope has built on its mission to educate the individual in mind, body and spirit and has developed a new mechanism for delivering support services that underpin the student experience and complement the courses on offer. The flexibility and responsiveness of this innovation in service provision has become an integral part of Hope's strategy to strengthen the foundation from which all students can flourish as individuals within mass higher education.
THE RECENT HISTORY OF STUDENT SUPPORT
The recent history of pastoral support at Hope is characterised by a change from one particular model of support to another. The imperative for this change was a mixture of internal and external factors but was driven by Hope's distinctive mission and ethos. Central to this is the aim to value each student as an individual. The student body is more diverse academically, socially and culturally. Students now have a wider variety of expectations of higher education and there is a broader range of aspirations after graduation. The challenge is therefore to adopt a model of student support that is responsive to students’ needs, flexible in its use of space, time and location, and that meets the increasingly high expectations of fee-paying students.
One of the traditional characteristics of British higher education has been the provision of student support services, and this is especially strong in the church colleges. The tradition may have developed because HEIs stood in loco parentis until the age of majority was reduced from 21 to 18 in the 1960s, and were therefore responsible for the students’ moral and physical well-being as well as their academic development.
‘EDUCATING the whole person in mind, body and spirit’ is the shorter version of the mission statement of Liverpool Hope University College. Expressed more fully, it includes the following statement:
Liverpool Hope University College is an ecumenical Christian foundation which strives to provide opportunities for the well-rounded personal development of Christians and students from other faiths and beliefs, educating the whole person in mind, body and spirit, irrespective of age, social or ethnic origins or physical capacity, including in particular those who might otherwise not have had an opportunity to enter higher education.
The College Governing Council and staff constantly reflect on this. Governors who interview candidates for posts emphasise the importance of the mission, so that all who join the staff are aware of its relevance to life in the Hope community. The Rector and Chief Executive, Professor Simon Lee, keeps it very much at the forefront of all that happens in Hope. In order to illustrate the seriousness with which our students and staff accept and live out the mission, I have, as Chair of Governors, chosen several areas of college life and invited a number of staff and students to record some of their experiences. These illustrate the many reasons why students can be praised for, and congratulated on, the use of their gifts for their own benefit and for that of the whole college community. The areas are relationships between governors and the students’ union, recruitment and retention of students, Hope Across the Irish Sea, international students, student support, aspects of learning and teaching, and the Network of Hope.
RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN GOVERNORS AND THE STUDENTS' UNION
During my eight years as a governor of Liverpool Hope, I have observed that the students’ union has been represented on the Governing Council by a succession of excellent presidents. The current president, Ms Kelly Parker, has participated in all Governing Council and academic board meetings over the past two years and has conducted herself with dignity. She is widely known. She presents informative reports on the activities of the union and its finances, and is unafraid to speak out for students’ needs.
THIS book is both a celebration and an analysis of the creation of Liverpool Hope University College in 1996 and of some of its achievements to date, during an exciting period in British higher education. Its contents can only be a reflection of a wider whole. They are selected principally because, in their different ways, they capture something of that whole. In one sense, therefore, they are impressionistic, yet in another they deal with selected substantive issues. So much else that could have been essayed has had to be omitted. For example, no attempt has been made to discuss equally the 20 or so subjects taught in the modern and ever-developing Hope curriculum. Nor is there mention of the research activity that ranges across these subjects. In what follows, such issues come into focus only briefly, simply because they are illustrative of some point being made. All this is designed to make the book a livelier read than it otherwise would have been as a formal chronicle.
For such reasons, this collection of essays should not be read as a standard and traditional history of an institution. It is, rather, a snapshot of the contemporary development of a higher education institution which dates back to its principal origins in Warrington in 1844, in Mount Pleasant in 1856, and in Childwall in 1964. Above all, Liverpool Hope is now a single college community with roots in those earlier beginnings. It is, therefore, successor to a rich educational heritage in Liverpool, its environs and the wider region. For such a long time people have known and benefited from S. Katharine's, Notre Dame and Christ's; names that are part of the older educational and social history of the region. For a time they became the rather aridly styled Liverpool Institute of Higher Education. This could only ever have been the transitional device that it was. Its main and important achievement was that it patiently processed the many changes and rationalisations without which the new single college could not have come about. Liverpool Hope University College, familiarly known as Hope or Liverpool Hope, has now inherited the ring and resonance of the founding college trusts with a conviction that was, perhaps unavoidably, missing in the transitional years. That conviction is expressed in all areas of the modern college life, as will become representatively evident in what follows.
LIVERPOOL Hope University College is probably unique among higher education establishments in publicly acknowledging and celebrating its foundation in its structures. The Foundation Deanery was established in 1995 as one of the four ‘pillars’ of the college, and since then it has been integral to the workings of academic and communal life. By foundation we mean, in this context, the original church college foundations of S. Katharine's (Warrington Training College), Notre Dame at Mount Pleasant, and Christ's, which together evolved into Liverpool Institute of Higher Education and later Liverpool Hope University College. The story of some of these exciting developments has been summarised in Chapter 1, and is more fully written elsewhere. It is significant that, when in 1995 the new name of Liverpool Hope University College was agreed by the Governing Council, it was felt desirable to set up a Foundation Deanery which unashamedly proclaimed our indebtedness to our foundations. The constituent colleges all had title deeds, and the intentions of the original founders undoubtedly reflected the various interpretations of principle and expediency of their own times, whether the Victorian era or the second Elizabethan one. The names of the three colleges – and their mottoes, their governing bodies, their intakes and curricula, their reputation in local and national communities – all proclaimed that they were church colleges, or (depending on the time) more specifically Anglican or Catholic training colleges, or colleges of education. Everything that they did and were seen to do was both implicitly and explicitly foundation-driven.
The term foundation can have several meanings. In schools, ‘foundation governors’ represent the founding body, often a church. In higher education today, ‘foundation degrees’ are initial, two-year degrees, closely related to the world of work. At Hope, the ‘foundations’ are clearly those of our Christian heritage as exemplified by the traditions of the founding colleges and typified by our mission statement. Our mission derives from our Anglican, Catholic and (more recently) ecumenical traditions, and draws attention to the fact that we are fully committed to ‘educating the whole person in mind, body and spirit’. The Foundation Deanery exists, then, to promote all activity immediately related to the church foundation and the mission.
ONE challenge for Christian educational institutions, according to Kleinschmidt, is ‘to keep alive the rumour of God’. This challenge underpins our approach to chaplaincy at Liverpool Hope – to create an awareness of a spiritual dimension in life, a vague recognition of the numinous, even a flickering possibility of a real being who knows and cares about us. We sow seeds for the future and perhaps some day the rumour which we have spread may grow to a conviction, fed by experience and memory, and set afire by the work of the Holy Spirit.
Fifty years ago, outside Oxbridge, there were just eight university chaplains in England. Today chaplaincies of one model or another are established in almost every institution of higher education in the country. Current statistics indicate that there are in excess of 400 chaplains working in higher education. This expansion of the church's involvement in this field has of course paralleled the major expansion of higher education itself since the war.
The chaplaincy at Liverpool Hope University College has its origins in the mid-nineteenth century when two of the three constituent colleges, S. Katharine's and Notre Dame, were founded. Chaplaincy responsibilities were exercised by male clergy, often in conjunction with a teaching role. In Christ's College, established in 1964, priests on the staff shared the liturgical and pastoral functions. Although federation in 1979 under the title of the Liverpool Institute of Higher Education brought co-operation between the Anglican and Roman Catholic chaplaincies, they continued to function as two separate entities. It was not until 1995 that a covenant to work together as one team was agreed, and in 1996 the current chaplaincy centre was established.
The college's Memorandum and Articles of Association and Instrument of Government provide for an ecumenical chaplaincy team, including at least one Anglican Chaplain and at least one Roman Catholic Chaplain. This is a direct reflection of the importance of the college mission to every aspect of its life. The team currently includes an Anglican bishop, a Roman Catholic sister of the Community of the Faithful Companions of Jesus, a Methodist minister and lay assistant, a Jesuit brother and an Anglican layman in an internship. This internship is an annual appointment which provides a formation experience for men or women testing their vocation to the ordained ministry or to lay chaplaincy.
IT is perhaps particularly fitting that in a building named after one of the great Bible translators of the twentieth century, Mgr Alexander Jones (died 1970), the teaching of the biblical languages is once again being undertaken: New Testament Greek has been taught at Hope since 2000, while biblical Hebrew has been run on a trial basis for the first time during the academic year 2002–03. Both have proved attractive to students. While biblical languages have been taught at Hope and the former constituent colleges before, this present move towards making both Greek and Hebrew (and perhaps later Aramaic) fully available to undergraduates who may pursue such studies as part of their degree is a relatively new (or at least revitalised) development. So too is the proposed Postgraduate Certificate in Biblical Languages, which should be available within the next two years.
To those involved in both the teaching and learning of the biblical languages at Hope, the photograph of Mgr Jones, which hangs just inside the main entrance of the building that now bears his name, ought to be an inspiration. He was formerly Head of Theology at Christ's College and as such played a central part in laying the foundations of what would later become (though he did not live to see it) the ecumenical institution of Liverpool Hope University College. He is more widely known for the central role he played in the production of a text that was to become of great importance and influence in the English-speaking Roman Catholic world: the Jerusalem Bible (1966). In fact, as general editor, Jones was without doubt the single most important individual in bringing that vast work of scholarship to completion. The achievement should not be forgotten.
The idea behind the Jerusalem Biblewas simple enough when it was first conceived in the world of mainly French-speaking Roman Catholics. In 1943 Pope Pius XII had issued the encyclical letter Divino Afflante Spiritu which enabled Roman Catholic scholars seriously to consider a departure from tradition and the preparation of a ‘Catholic’ Bible that was not based upon Jerome's Latin Vulgate. The challenge was quickly taken up by French scholars, who determined to produce a translation of the Bible based on the very best Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic manuscripts that twentieth-century textual critics were able to deliver. The Bible translation would contain also extensive scholarly notes.
The common problem of the association of economic success with increasing poverty became exceptionally acute in Liverpool by reason of its peculiar constituency. It was the dilemma of the conflict between individual betterment and social obligation that was to provide D'Aeth with the opportunity to develop his particular talent and, together with the city, to make a unique contribution to the process of social advance.
Seldom can a biographer have confronted such a paucity of information as that which conceals the early life of F. G. D'Aeth. It would be easy enough to build up a picture on the basis of inference; he seems to have been a thoroughly ordinary lad who led a thoroughly ordinary life, typical of the rising middle class of the late Victorian era into which he was born. Yet it has proved curiously difficult to lay hands on anything that would provide a solid base for speculation, such as family photographs, school records or personal reminiscences. In fact, it is significant that his story falls into two very distinct parts, of the first of which little trace remains beyond the bare facts; it seems as if at the age of thirty he deliberately slammed the door on all that had gone before and set out in search of fulfilment: a different person in a different capacity in a different world.
The facts about those first thirty years are straightforward so far as they go. Frederic George D'Aeth was born on 1 June 1875 at 4, Hyde Side Terrace in Edmonton, Middlesex, the fourth of the seven children of Alfred and Elizabeth D'Aeth. The D'Aeth family were of Huguenot origin and, in the late eighteenth century, had come from Ath (a village on the Franco-Belgian border) to take up farming in Suffolk. The family name was originally D'Ath, but was later changed to D'Aeth, presumably because of its English connotations. A couple of generations down the line, Alfred D'Aeth was caught in the prevalent drift into towns and earned his living as a clerk in the Bank of England: of his wife, Elizabeth, nothing is known.
Margaret Simey began in earnest to write this book around 1995, and completed what she was able to write in her ninety-eighth year. It is her last publication, produced posthumously, as she passed away on 27 July 2004. True to her unconventional form, her son Iliff hired a Mersey ferry to cast her ashes and flowers downstream, in a community celebration – not a funeral – of a long and eventful life, with a Caribbean steel band and African-style spontaneous tributes.
The work undertaken to put this last book together is certainly a story itself within the larger story of the book. Although I have worked as a finishing editor with Margaret over the last two years, gradually pulling together all the loose ends, there are two other contributors to the editing and research who deserve full acknowledgement, since without their earlier work it is doubtful that the book would have been completed in anything like its present form.
First, Catherine Hawkes worked as researcher and editor for Margaret, helping to trace the early history of Frederic D'Aeth, including meeting his daughter-in-law, Dorothy D'Aeth, who has since passed away, and her daughter, Elizabeth Bolton. Catherine was partly supported in her many hours of research and collaboration with Margaret by grants kindly given by the University of Liverpool Research Development Fund, the University Settlement Council, the Liverpool Council for Social Service, the Eleanor Rathbone Charitable Trust, the P. H. Holt Charitable Trust and the Lipman Charitable Trust.
The second editor, whose voluntary contribution helped to bolster the detail on D'Aeth's years at the Liverpool Council for Voluntary Aid, is Edward Murphy OBE, current director of Liverpool Network for Change and, given his previous role as chief executive of Liverpool Council of Social Service (originally the LCVA), one of the few people who can count themselves as inheritors of D'Aeth's original role. Acknowledgements need to be given to the considerable time he spent providing a fuller political context for D'Aeth. In addition, the work undertaken by Mandy Maloney, assistant director of Liverpool Network for Change, in reformatting the manuscript has proved invaluable.
For my part, in rounding up some of the details of D'Aeth's life, I am grateful to the Department of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work at Liverpool University for their financial contribution to ensure the book was completed…
When we arrived in our respective diocese and archdiocese, the constitution of Liverpool Hope University College stated that the Governing Council was to be chaired in rotation by the Bishop and Archbishop of Liverpool. We duly served for a two-year term each, but were then happy to see the roles of chair and deputy opened to the wider Hope community, not least because, as the Dearing Report noted, chairs of governing councils need to be much more intimately involved in the governance of universities and colleges. We are pleased to continue to serve in other ways, as joint Presidents and trustees.
We would single out Hope at Everton as a major contribution to Liverpool's urban renewal. The diocese and archdiocese extend beyond the city, of course, as Hope does. We therefore also wish to commend the pioneering work of the Network of Hope in the North West. All these endeavours involve vision and the risks which so often go with its implementation. This is where creativity is so often to be found, as the history of Liverpool Hope has shown from the beginning and as its recent developments have shown in large measure.
We write on Maundy Thursday as the Pope has published a statement on the Eucharist and ecumenism. This reminds us that the ecumenical journey both for Hope and for the wider Christian family is complex, often sensitive and always challenging. It is not always easy to walk together with hope in our hearts, but this we must strive to do. Given both our history and the divided nature of the followers of Christ today, there remains often a sense of frustration, but debate must continue and must be vigorous, courteous and searching all at the same time.
It is good to welcome this book at the moment when Hope expresses its profound sense of gratitude, with which we concur, to Professor Simon Lee for his leadership over the past eight years. This is the moment, also, when we all welcome his successor Professor Gerald Pillay and wish him well in his new undertakings.
It is a privilege for us to be involved in the life and development of this university college and we commend this series of essays, all with different perspectives, to anyone concerned for the unity of the church, for theology and for higher education.
BY 1995, the inner-urban beginnings of Hope's predecessor colleges had become an exclusively suburban presence. This was no undesirable thing in itself, since it provided a campus which was soon to be enhanced and which, sited at one end of the M62 motorway, was well placed to serve the city and the wider region alike. The view was taken, however, that this exclusive suburbanism was not completely true to the founding colleges’ original mission. For this reason, a development site was sought in an inner-city area, to which Hope might transfer some of its teaching and from where it could make its Access programmes more readily available. At the same time, Hope sought to play a wider role in creating, along with others, sustainable urban regeneration. The opportunity to do this was conveniently provided by Liverpool's Objective One status for European Regional Development Funding.
Numerous potential inner-city sites were considered. The one chosen, in 1997, was on Shaw Street in Liverpool 3. It contained, prominently, the stunning Victorian Gothic church, St Francis Xavier's, a Grade II* listed building dating from 1848, by the architect J. J. Scholes, and still in use. Equally impressive and overlooking the Islington relief road was the building of the former St Francis Xavier's School, like the church originally a Jesuit foundation, and commonly referred to as SFX. The school had moved to new premises in Woolton some forty years previously, and since then, although partial uses had been found for the empty building, it had not been restored or even maintained. As a result, the roof was gone and extensive weather damage to the interior had occurred. Like so many other such buildings, it symbolised the city's decay: the more so because of its prominent hillside location, highly visible from an arterial road. The rest of the site afforded space for two more buildings, as well as for a large open area in the middle. All this was surrounded by general dereliction, apart from there being some attractive modern houses along part of one side. Standing opposite was the former Liverpool Collegiate School building, also long in decay; as was a row of once fine Georgian houses further along Shaw Street. Apart from access to the church, the whole site was surrounded by high walls topped by barbed wire and posted with ‘keep out’ signs.
THIS rich collection of memories and reflections celebrates the pilgrimage of a remarkable British institution. It is a story of courage, sacrifice, commitment, service and compassion that eludes public reviews and assessments, corporate plans and even the very best attempts to capture it in this fine and fitting tribute. However, two key words – ‘hope’ and ‘community’ – recur throughout these pages in the testimonies of academic and administrative staff, students and graduates. It appears that the experience of this university college has become inscribed in the lives of the people associated with it.
Hope is not a Christian virtue or a quality like goodness, gentleness or mercy. It cannot be cultivated like self-discipline or patience. It has nothing to do with either nature or nurture. Hope is the Christian's philosophy of history. It can only be measured by time. To ‘have hope’ or, more correctly, to live in hope is to live in the confidence of the end result. In theological terms it means living eschatologically; in the full assurance that the end (telos) is assured and fulfilled in God. Wolfhart Pannenberg, the German theologian, would say that in Christ we have ‘proleptically’ encountered the end. To live and work anticipating that all may turn out well or that our efforts may not be futile is wishfulness, not hope. To live in hope is to let the fulfilment of the end guide and illuminate our way. Hope is the basis of this institution's confidence and commitment to ‘educate in the round’ – to entrench its foundational vision in the whole scholarly process in all its depth and breadth.
During these past few months I have become gradually educated into the culture and ethos of Liverpool Hope University College and three things have become very obvious to me. First, Liverpool Hope has one of the most lucid and succinct mission statements I have encountered anywhere. The notions of ‘vision’ and ‘mission’, which have now passed into common university parlance, were originally theological ideas. There is a clear and unambiguous synergy between this university college's mission of hope and its academic vision. During the 1990s it became fashionable to establish a mission statement to appear at the foot of letterheads. This statement was designed for marketing purposes, to make an institution stand out from the rest.
THEOLOGY depends on institutions. When Rowan Williams explained that his methodological starting point was always in the middle, he was drawing attention to this dependency on institutions. Williams writes,
I assume that the theologian is always beginning in the middle of things. There is a practice of common life and language already there, a practice that defines a specific shared way of interpreting human life as lived in relation to God.
So the primary institution for the theologian is the church. If the church did not exist, then Christian theology would not exist. It is on that living community of the church, carrying the life-blood of faith from the first century to the present, that the theologian is entirely parasitic. The church does not simply supply the ‘content’ of theology but also provides the community that ultimately will listen – the ‘hearers’. It supplies the ‘content’ in that it provides the vocabulary and the texts that extend the discussion; it provides the ‘hearers’ of theology because ultimately the task of making sense of God and God's relations with the world is a primary concern of the church. This does not deny that the cultural setting of the church can become part of the content, but even when this happens, it is still the church that absorbs the content. Likewise, although non-Christians outside the church might be curious about the theological task (in much the same way that an English-speaking person can be interested in the Spanish language), curiosity does not involve the same commitment as living and thinking within language.
A church college is a distinctive institution. It is the creation of the church: Christian men and women created the institution. Christians dominate the governing body, which often includes, as in the case of Liverpool Hope's Governing Council, several senior prelates. Yet it is also part of the academy. To be effective in the modern academy, it must accept that many students are non-Christians; it must teach a vast range of subjects and provide an inclusive setting for study.
In this chapter, I shall explore how one church college, Liverpool Hope University College, thought through its institutional commitment to theology. The chapter divides into four sections: first, I briefly examine the institutional commitments to theology that shaped the period from 1996 to 2000 and the position that Hope wanted to take.
In which D'Aeth lays the foundations of the School of Social Work as a centre for training and study and serves his apprenticeship as a social investigator. The link between the theory and practice of social responsibility is identified as the focus of future activity.
It is impossible to attribute credit for the development of the idea of a School of Social Work in Liverpool to any particular individual because it was, characteristically, a joint venture. However, the person who first advanced a precise proposal was undoubtedly Edward Gonner, the professor of economics. Gonner had come to Liverpool from Oxford in 1888 in what was regarded by some of his contemporaries as an act of misguided altruism. He was one of the earliest of the new breed of academics attracted to the North by the potential of the budding universities. In accord with the founders’ intention, his post was that of both lecturer in the novel subject of political theory and tutor in commercial practice; he was wholeheartedly committed to the college's policy of relating the pursuit of learning to the most practical of purposes. Tall, thin, cadaverous, an inveterate talker, within a couple of years he had so promoted his subject that John Brunner, the chemical industry magnate, provided funds to endow a chair in political economy and commercial practice to which, unsurprisingly, Gonner was duly appointed.
No provincial, Gonner cultivated contacts in many quarters. In particular, his friendship with C. S. Loch, secretary of the national Charity Organisations Committee, kept him well informed about the energetic discussion going on in London as to the pros and cons of training for charitable work, whether by voluntary workers or statutory agencies. The Women's University Settlement in Southwark was already exploring the nature and content of such a course and it is possible that it was at this time that Gonner came across Elizabeth Macadam, then a youth worker in a London club. Certainly it was through Loch that he heard of Macadam's appointment in 1903 as the new warden at the Victoria Settlement in Liverpool. The moment was especially opportune because the Liverpool College, after 25 years of existence, had finally achieved university status with the granting of its charter in 1903.
Informed by the principles of a socially responsible society, a new form of social administration devised by D'Aeth proceeds apace. The extent of the task and the challenges of implementation reveal the importance of the principles of coordination.
D'Aeth started out on the search for an answer conventionally enough. The then Lord Mayor, the Earl of Derby, called a meeting of citizens in the Town Hall in December 1911 to consider the question of ‘Personal Service Amongst the Poor’. Perhaps fortunately, the Earl himself was absent, having to receive in his parlour a deputation of carters who were at that time on strike. His place was taken by Chaloner Dowdall, as chairman of the LCVA, who formally proposed ‘That this Meeting is of the opinion that a further development of personal interest in charitable service will increase the efficiency of charities, and promote the welfare of the citizens’. This was seconded by Bishop Chavasse, the Lord Bishop of Liverpool, and supported by Professor Campagnac as representing the university. Notables of the business community added weight to the platform party. The resolution was carried unanimously. But although the sentiments of the meeting emphasised the value of voluntary service, both to the city and to those who undertook it, the only practical suggestions came from such as Margaret Beavan, who pleaded the need for more volunteers for childcare. It was left to D'Aeth to put flesh on the bones of a good intention.
At first glance, the years following the first AGM in 1911 present a picture of apparently undisciplined expenditure of energy on D'Aeth's part, but this is misleading. It should be no surprise to realise that he was in fact working to the carefully constructed plan of action which he had indicated in his first report. It was this steadfast sense of direction that enabled him to keep his head in the face of the multiple demands now made on him.
Right from his first preliminary report on charitable effort in 1909, it is clear that D'Aeth had thought out precisely how he proposed to organise his work. His ultimate aim was to implement MacCunn's vision of a socially responsible society – which was, of course, the whole purpose of the LCVA that he had worked so hard to create.
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