The Church and the Social Services

DOI10.1177/026455055900900401
Publication Date01 December 1959
AuthorW.W. Simpson
Date01 December 1959
SubjectArticles
/tmp/tmp-17ZJSY6hocv3WY/input
Probation
JOURNAL OF THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF PROBATION OFFICERS
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VOLUME NINE NUlvlBER FOUR. DECEMBER 1959
THE CHURCH AND THE SOCIAL SERVICES
REV. W. W. SIMPSON, M.A.
General Secretary, The Council of Christians and Jews
I
W E WERE chatting in my host’s study after coffee. history would have little difficulty in making out a case
He was the principal of a well-known theological
that if it had not been for the work and witness of the
college and I a visiting speaker from an &dquo;outside organisa-
Churches in the past the Welfare State as we now know it
tion&dquo;. Not surprisingly, perhaps, the conversation turned
might never have emerged.
at one point on the difficulty of fitting &dquo;extras&dquo; into an
Today, however, the situation is very. different. Indus-
already over-crowded syllabus.
trialisation, con-urbanisation and a number of other factors
My host, however, was fully alive to the importance of
as impersonal as the names by which we call them, have
doing so. For him a course of lectures by visiting experts
resulted in the development of administrative machinery
on pastoral psychology was a ’sine qua non’. But that was
for welfare services so complex that not merely the parson,
not all. Every year on the completion of their examination
but even the voluntary social worker, is in danger of
the men who are leaving spend three days with represen-
feeling himself pushed further and further out to the
tatives of the local authority and of the various statutory
circumference.
and voluntary social services: people like the Town Clerk,
I am not for a moment suggesting that this is intentional
the Medical Officer of Health, the Superintendent of Police.
on anyone’s part. Indeed, most people when tackled about
a Children’s Office or a probation officer.
And how much - or how little! - can a man learn
about so many vitally important aspects of contemporary
life in three days? Not much, perhaps, but at least enough
to give him a bird’s eye view...

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