‘Flame of Freedom’

Pageant type

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Place: Victoria Rooms (Bristol) (Bristol, Gloucestershire, England)

Year: 1949

Indoors/outdoors: Indoors

Number of performances: 6


5–9 April 1949

[5 April at 7pm, 6 April at 7pm, 7 April at 7pm, 8 April at 7pm, and 9 April at 2.30pm and 7pm.]

Name of pageant master and other named staff

  • Producer [Pageant Master]: Bennett, John
  • Mistress of the Robes: Kathleen Harston
  • Stage Manager: Tony Gould
  • Lighting Expert: Wynne Paige
  • Effects Lighting: Robert Brooks
  • Radiogram Controller: Peter Walch
  • ‘Everymen’ of the Stage: Bill, Gilbert, Mac and Percy
  • Director of Bookings: Mrs W. Harold Finch
  • Treasurer: Mr H.G. Fleming
  • Chief Steward: Mr H.A. Pelley


John Bennett was Dramatic Critic of Bristol Evening World.

Names of executive committee or equivalent

  • Chairman: Dr H.F. Lovell Cocks
  • Secretary: Rev. J.I. Carlyle
  • Treasurer: Mr H.G. Fleming
  • Comptroller of Pageant: Miss Norma F. Macdonald-Stewart
  • Producer: Mr Hugh Pritchard

Names of script-writer(s) and other credited author(s)

  • MacDonald-Stewart, Norma F.
  • Lovell Cocks, H.F.
  • Selby, E.T.
  • Watts, Paddy


  • Norma F. MacDonald-Stewart (Scenes I, II, V, VIII and X).
  • H.F. Lovell Cocks (Scenes III, IV and VI).
  • E.T. Selby (Scene VII).
  • Paddy Watts (Scene IX).

Names of composers


Numbers of performers


The cast was drawn from the Bristol Free Churches. These included a dozen ministers.

Financial information

The pageant made a loss of £400.1

Object of any funds raised


Linked occasion


Audience information

  • Grandstand: No
  • Grandstand capacity: n/a
  • Total audience: n/a

Prices of admission and seats: highest–lowest

6s.–1s. 6d.

[Prices 6s., 3s. 6d., 2s. 6d., 2s., 1s. 6d.]

Associated events


Pageant outline


A Pilgrim declares that ‘in Britain to-day a man’s religion—or lack of it—is his own affair.’2 He goes on to discuss the religion of the seventeenth century, devoid of toleration and oppressive of both Catholics and Protestants. An English Voice and Scottish Voice talk about the plight of non-conformism. The Pilgrim declares: ‘Our Pageant depicts the part the Free Churches played in that struggle. They had to learn the lessons themselves before they could teach it to others. Their contribution to religion and to the cause of liberty in the modern world is what we are trying to portray in the scenes that follow.’

Scene I. The Trial of John Knox Before Mary, Queen of Scots

The Pilgrim introduces the scene and discusses Mary’s Catholicism. The Scottish Voice describes Patrick Cranstoun and Andrew Armstrong’s prosecution for condemning Mary and their appeal to John Knox, who sent a letter in support and was subsequently tried for treason. The scene is Holyrood Palace with attendant Lairds, Justices, Lord Advocates, President and Chancellors, etc., with John Knox as prisoner. Mary enters and is seated with ladies in waiting. Secretary Maitland reads out the indictment, and Knox is made to acknowledge that he wrote the letter and that the handwriting is his own. He reads out the letter. Mary is indignant, the rest of the court less so. Knox asks what he is guilty of and there is some dispute: the Lords decide Knox’s preaching is not in itself treasonous and that he is merely convening people by order of the Kirk. Mary is displeased by this. Knox goes on to decry papists in the strongest terms. Knox is ultimately acquitted by the Lords who defy Mary—who is, quite understandably, displeased.

Scene II. The Pilgrim Fathers, 1620

The narrator tells of the separatists within their church, their persecution, and their desire to leave England. The scene is the Quayside of Plymouth Harbour. The narrator tells of the perilous voyage, the storms, and the dangerous situation once they arrived, which caused many of the Pilgrim Fathers to die. Miles Standish addresses the brethren and hands over their covenant to William Brewster.

Scene III. Cromwell Defends Liberty of Conscience, 1645

The narrator explains that the Presbyterian Parliament wanted to make peace with the unconstitutional King but that the nonconformist army refused, led by Cromwell who ‘throughout his career was far in advance of his age in his passionate belief in religious liberty.’ The scene opens on Bristol Castle, 1645, shortly before the storming of the town by Parliamentarian forces. Cromwell is dictating an unfinished letter to the House of Commons, describing their current position. Fairfax enters, and they discuss the situation. Cromwell discusses how little he enjoys Parliamentary business. Master Nolles and Stapleton enter and relay that the house demands that his officers agree to the covenant. They discuss religion and freedom of expression and conscience in the army (they complain of its freethinking ways), which Cromwell heavily defends: ‘We are fighting to restore the constitution that the King has set aside. And if you ask me what we shall do with the victory, I say that we shall be able thereby to bring His Majesty to an accommodation with us, wherein his undoubtable prerogratives will be secured to him in return for his royal promise to protect the constitution and the covenant.’ They accuse him of rejecting the covenant, but Cromwell insists that he is upholding it by giving liberty of conscience. They in turn suggest that conscience will become an Anabaptist trick to destroy the state. After further arguments—and Cromwell’s vehement defence of religious liberty—the two exit. Cromwell issues a proclamation on religious liberty and then prays.

Scene IV. George Fox Before the Lord Protector, 1654

The Pilgrim describes the elapse of nine years in which ‘Against his own will, circumstances had made [Cromwell] dictator ruling by the power of the sword. Yet there was never a milder dictator than Cromwell.’ A Quaker relays that ‘Liberty of conscience had broken all bonds, and England was swarming with all sorts of queer sects’ including Quakerism. He describes how Fox was brought before the Lord Protector: ‘it was Fox who dominated the scene. That he did so is a tribute not only to his burning sincerity but also to the magnanimity, gentleness and humility of Oliver Cromwell.’ Charles Harvey, groom of the bed-chamber, announces Captain Drury’s arrival with Fox. Cromwell talks about Fox to Drury and his strange address. Fox enters and wishes Cromwell peace. Cromwell discusses the letter with him, which denies that the Quakers are seditious, and asks Fox to give account of himself, which he does amply well. Fox criticizes all priests and false doctrine, which Cromwell disputes. They discuss the true religion, helping the poor and suffering, and Cromwell asks whether preachers cannot also do this. Fox, after declaring his love for Cromwell, asks in response: ‘Hath thou considered how hard it is for men to speak truth to him they call His Highness the Protector. Upon thee their livelihood depends.’ Cromwell agrees. Fox expounds the doctrine of the inner light within all men, which Cromwell struggles to understand. Harvey and Drury reappear to announce the arrival of the Venetian Ambassador. Cromwell declares that Fox is at liberty, and they leave one another, deeply moved. Cromwell says: ‘Come again to my house, friend. If thou and I were but an hour of the day together, we should be nearer one to the other. I wish you no more ill than I do to mine own soul.’

Scene V. The Covenanters. Part One

The Reverend James Bruce was determined to suffer rather than renounce the covenant and was ejected from his Kirk in Ayrshire. Four years later we see the persecution he endures. The Reverend emerges from a cave and cautiously beckons his wife. Villagers and crofters gather illicitly in a congregation, and he begins to preach a sermon, reading from the bible and singing hymns (e.g., ‘The Lord’s My Shepherd’). Noises off-stage and six dragoons appear on foot with lit torches. The group disperses, but the Dragoons fire a volley, one of which fatally wounds Mrs Bruce. Mrs Bruce dies in her husband’s arms, surrounded by the congregation. Mr Bruce is stoical about the events: ‘The Lord giveth and the lord taketh away’, and others declare on the impermanence of the body.

Scene VI. The Covenanters. Part Two: A Day or Two Later

Andrew, son of the Rev. Bruce, enters the deserted moorland scene. He comes across a Scottish shepherd in traditional costume, and they exchange pleasantries. Andrew suggests that a good Shepherd will lay down his life for the flock. Dragoons creep up on them unawares and capture Andrew. They demand he takes an oath renouncing the covenant. He refuses and is told he is to be executed. They wish to mitigate this, if only he will renounce the covenant and betray his father’s whereabouts. He refuses, and they threaten to torture him. They apply thumbscrews, but Andrew refuses to say anything: ‘You may torture me to death, but I trust in God: in the Rock of my Salvation—and you cannot touch my soul! It is covered by the shield of the Almighty. You shall not wring one word from me to endanger my father.’ He is led away to be executed. The villagers and his sister are sad for him, and they part, with Andrew being led away to the gibbet. One soldier suggests torturing the daughter, but they decide against it and depart, though Mary (the daughter) dies of a broken heart on stage.

Scene VII. The Trial of Richard Baxter Before Judge Jeffreys

The Pilgrim tells of James II’s persecution of Protestant nonconformists and how the aged Baxter was singled-out by Jeffreys (who ‘had a brilliant mind but an evil heart, nevertheless he was a handsome man in appearance’). The scene is the Guildhall in London before the judge and jury. Pollexfen speaks eloquently to the jury in defence of Baxter. Jeffreys tries to prevent him from preaching and punctures his long-winded extempore prayers. This back-and-forth continues at some length (taken verbatim from recorded proceedings of the trial). Baxter defends his position and suggests he has not preached against the bishops, whilst Jeffreys mocks his age and argues that his writings inspire sedition. Eventually, the jury finds Baxter guilty, which amuses Jeffreys no end. The Pilgrim tells that Baxter was fined 500 marks and was condemned to be imprisoned until he paid. When it became clear that he could not, he was released and lived until 1691, when toleration of nonconformity was eventually passed.

Scene VIII. George Whitefield and John Wesley in Bristol

A West Country Voice introduces the scene of Whitefield’s second visit to Bristol in 1739. The scene is Mrs Grevil’s grocery shop in Wine Street. Wesley arrives and is greeted. Whitefield reports that they are being prevented from preaching in pulpits and are instead doing so in the fields. Wesley is a little hesitant, but Whitefield suggests that the Sermon on the Mount was a good example of field preaching. They depart for a prayer meeting.

Scene IX. John Wesley and Beau Nash

The narrator tells of Whitefield’s departure for London and Wesley’s preaching at the highways to 3000 people on St Philip’s Plain (not far from the present-day site of Temple Meads Station), followed by further open air preaching. The West Country Voice describes his visit to Bath and his meeting with Beau Nash, ‘arbiter of fashion and uncrowned king in Vanity Fair.’ Wesley is preaching in the open fields as Nash and friends approach. Nash asks what authority he preaches by, and claims Wesley is breaking the law. Wesley says he is preaching by the authority of Jesus and asks Nash if he has heard him preach, which Nash has not. A woman mocks Nash with: ‘You, Mr Nash, take care of your body; we take care of our souls.’

Scene X. Charles Wesley: The Sweet Singer of the Revival, 1763

The Pilgrim and West Country Voice introduce Charles Wesley and his love of poetry and music, as well as his connection to Bristol where he wrote many of the famous hymns. Wesley has been for a walk and is greeted by his son. Wesley Sr. writes some lines which his wife sight-reads and sings: ‘O Thou Who Camest From Above’. The scene darkens and shifts to a congregation singing his hymn: ‘To Work and Speak and Think for Thee’.

Scene XI. Interview Between George III and Selina, Countess of Huntingdon

The Pilgrim and English Voice tell of Selina’s virtue and her support for evangelical religion. The scene is the Royal Palace at Kew. Charlotte praises Selina for her religiosity. George III expresses his curiosity and desire to meet her. He tells of the bishops’ jealousy of her own preachers (his speech is quirky) and says he told a bishop complaining of her that he wished to make a bishop of her. The King and Queen are only too anxious to help her, and George promises to deal with the bishops and offers her the full protection of the crown.

Scene XII. William Carey: The Wyclif of the East. Part One, 1812

The Pilgrim introduces Carey, who preached and translated the gospel in India. The scene begins with a tableau of Carey’s study in Fort William College, Calcutta. An English student enters after several minutes, rousing Carey. They discuss the translation set, and Carey insists that ‘If you are to hold a government post here, it is imperative that you can make yourself understood, that you feel at home in the language.’ They discuss homesickness and Carey’s mission to translate the bible. Brother Marshman enters and tells of the sad news of a fire in the printing works. Carey is deeply distressed but takes solace in his faith, despite a year’s worth of work having been destroyed. The curtain falls, and the narrator tells that the printing works was rebuilt.

Scene XIII. William Carey: The Wyclif of the East. Part Two, 1814

The scene is two missionaries surrounded by a crowd of Hindus. One of the missionaries wants to leave, but the other suggests waiting for the head of the village to return as this village is full of upstanding people who seek the truth. They talk to one of the villagers about the way of righteousness and learn that the villagers already love their neighbour and worship a particular god. It transpires that the village received an early version of Carey’s bible and have assimilated it into their religious practice.

Scene XIV. Elizabeth Fry. Part One, 1817

Narrators introduce Fry’s life. The scene is set outside the Women’s Quarters of Newgate Prison. Elizabeth Fry is seen with two turnkeys arguing with her. A deranged prisoner escapes and steals the caps off women. There are disgracefully neglected children. Whilst the turnkey tells Fry she cannot enter the prison, she is insistent: ‘I AM GOING IN.’ She enters the prison and picks up a filthy child and decries the conditions. The women inside show signs of heeding the message.

Scene XV. Elizabeth Fry. Part Two

Elizabeth Fry is complaining to the Governor of Newgate and the Sheriffs of London about the conditions, and demands the setting up of a school in the prison for the children. Her interlocutors produce irrelevant reasons against this. The two men reluctantly agree to what they see as a hopeless experiment. The scene then changes to the prison schoolroom where children are eagerly sitting at desks.

Scene XVI. John Bunyan

A scene from Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, performed in mime with the narrator’s voice overlaid.

Key historical figures mentioned

  • Knox, John (c.1514–1572) religious reformer
  • Mary [Mary of Guise] (1515–1560) queen of Scots, consort of James V, and regent of Scotland
  • Standish, Myles (c.1584–1656) soldier and colonist [also known as Standish, Miles]
  • Brewster, William (1566/7–1644) separatist leader
  • Cromwell, Oliver (1599–1658) lord protector of England, Scotland, and Ireland
  • Fairfax, Thomas, third Lord Fairfax of Cameron (1612–1671) parliamentarian army officer
  • Fox, George (1624–1691) a founder of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
  • Bruce, James (1660/61–1730) minister of the Presbyterian General Synod of Ulster
  • Baxter, Richard (1615–1691) ejected minister and religious writer
  • Jeffreys, George, first Baron Jeffreys (1645–1689) judge
  • Whitefield, George (1714–1770) Calvinistic Methodist leader
  • Wesley [Westley], John (1703–1791) Church of England clergyman and a founder of Methodism
  • Nash, Richard [known as Beau Nash] (1674–1761) master of ceremonies and social celebrity
  • Wesley, Charles (1707–1788) Church of England clergyman and a founder of Methodism
  • Wesley, Charles (1757–1834) musician
  • Hastings [née Shirley], Selina, countess of Huntingdon (1707–1791) founder of the Countess of Huntingdon's Connexion
  • George III (1738–1820) king of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and king of Hanover
  • Charlotte [Princess Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz] (1744–1818) queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and queen of Hanover, consort of George III
  • Legge, William, second earl of Dartmouth (1731–1801) politician
  • Carey, William (1761–1834) orientalist and missionary
  • Fry [née Gurney], Elizabeth (1780–1845) penal reformer and philanthropist

Musical production


Newspaper coverage of pageant

Bristol Evening World

Western Daily Press

Book of words


No book of words was issued. A typed script of the performance is located in Bristol Record Office. Reference 38017/6.

Other primary published materials

  • ‘Flame of Freedom’ Pageant Programme. Bristol, 1949.

Price: 6d.

References in secondary literature


Archival holdings connected to pageant

  • Bristol Record Office: Copy of Script, programme, photographs, correspondence and press cuttings. Reference 38017/6.

Sources used in preparation of pageant

  • Buynan, John. Pilgrim’s Progress.
  • Court Proceedings from the Trial of Richard Baxter.


Religious pageants, both by Anglican and nonconformist churches, reached their heyday in the interwar period. Paradoxically, this development accompanied a major stagnation in overall religious observance and a period of disembedding religion from everyday life, which some historians and sociologists of religion refer to as ‘secularization’. Despite a relatively stable congregation, it had become clear that younger people were less likely to be regular church attendees. The growth of the ‘secular Sunday’, characterized by participating in or watching sports or attending cinemas and other recreational facilities that were open longer—as well as the greater amounts of money available to (employed) young men and women and their larger amounts of free time—meant that fewer people were willing to attend church on a Sunday or, for that matter, other days of the week.3 Whilst civic and institutional pageants themselves reflected this shift, containing fewer explicitly religious scenes (which were generally confined to the opening episodes), religious pageantry became increasingly common. These pageants often celebrated anniversaries of particular churches or movements, for instance the pageant at St Laurence Bardney in Lincolnshire (1934) or the Light Over England pageant (1938) that commemorated 500 years of the translation of the New Testament. Another focus of attention was the encouragement of overseas missionary work, as in the case of the Portchester Pageant (1932), and local church-building, as in T.S. Eliot’s The Rock (1934). Many of these pageants were written by local volunteers, for example the wives of vicars or bishops (almost all these pageants were written by women), and were of mixed artistic value, using poor dialogue, clunky religious imagery, paper-thin moral allegories, and dubious depictions of race and empire. As the Times remarked of the Light Over England pageant, ‘the genealogical trees of the Bible are not so dull as this’!4 Even T.S. Eliot’s dialogue for The Rock was criticized from many quarters for its overly didactic heavy-handedness.

In much of the country, religious pageantry had not survived the Second World War. At most, religiously-inflected pageants commemorated anniversaries of churches or cathedrals, such as the Adel Church Octocentenary in West Yorkshire in 1960 and the Pageant of St Wilfrid’s in Sussex. Yet, these pageants said little about the overall state of religion, at a time when both Anglican and nonconformist congregations were in sharp decline.

The Flame of Freedom Pageant continued the wartime revival of pageantry in Bristol which had begun with Pilgrims to the Sunrise (1943), Western Gateway (1946) and Precious Dawn (1946). Norma F. MacDonald-Stewart had been the producer, chairman or writer of these events. MacDonald-Stewart had been a local personality responsible for the Civic Flag-Days of the 1930s and secretary to the Air Raid Precautions Aid Group.5 This 1949 pageant was partially due to her—and the vibrant Free Church of England Movement in Bristol, which had a longstanding tradition in the town and which the pageant displayed.

The pageant owed much in tone and spirit to the interwar missionary pageants, such as the Portchester Castle Pageant Play, Hunger (1932). Plans for a pageant in the still Blitz-scarred city were announced by Mr Pritchard of the Bristol Free Church Federal Council in September 1948 in no uncertain terms. The Evening World reported Pritchard’s declaration that ‘“You Free Church people are alive; sometimes I think you are more alive than the Church of England in some things”’.6 These words were followed by action, and a major publicity effort. Some 40000 handbills were printed and over 2500 letters written to publicize the pageant, and Dr H.F. Lovell Cocks, principal of the Bristol branch of the Western Colleges, spoke on the local BBC about it.7 Dr Cocks also played Judge Jeffreys, with the Western Daily Press stating that his ‘histrionic talent allows him to assume, to a surprising degree, the wily personality of that rascally fellow “of brilliant mind and evil heart.”’8 Speaking about the pageant, Dr Cocks said: ‘The primary aim was to remind people of the heavy price their fathers had paid for the freedom they now enjoy, and the secondary aim was to make people understand that the only possible foundation for political liberty was religious liberty.… Nothing to-day is more fragile than human freedom … [I]n this cold war of conflicting ideologies we can never take liberty for granted.’9 He went on to quote a recent speech by Winston Churchill: ‘People must recognise that the spiritual basis of liberty is religion. Take away religion, take away God and his demands of men, take away man’s destiny, for which God created man—and that will be taken away which God himself set up—liberty. Liberty is not an end in itself … It is a by-product of obedience, loyalty and allegiance.’10

This echoed many of the ideas which were becoming prevalent in the developing Cold War climate, which pitted religion; especially of the nonconformist variety, which many saw to be behind American individualism, capitalism and democracy, against the godlessness of communism. Such ideas of the link between nonconformism and the rise of individualism and capitalism in works by Elie Halevy’s A History of the English People in the Nineteenth Century, R.H. Tawney’s Religion and the Rise of Capitalism (1926) and Perry Miller’s New England Mind (1939).

The pageant itself presented a striking interpretation of British history told through the evolution of nonconformity—from the days of John Knox through to Elizabeth Fry—in face of the forces of repression and tyranny. The pageant’s presentation of monarchy, from Mary Queen of Scots to James II, is generally negative, and only George III, who supports the efforts of Selina, Countess of Huntingdon, is presented in anything like a favourable light: even here, however, we see a foretaste of Mad King George. By contrast, Oliver Cromwell is shown as a protector of religious liberty and a thoroughly decent person. Cromwell’s reputation had been revived under the Victorians by Thomas Carlyle’s Heroes and Hero-Worship (1841) and The Letters and Speeches of Oliver Cromwell (1845), as well as by his inclusion in the line of monarchs decorating Manchester Town Hall, and, at the end of the nineteenth century, by the erection of a statue to him outside the Palace of Westminster. As Blair Worden has noted, during this period Cromwell became a nonconformist hero.11 Significantly, though the pageant includes George Fox’s long discussion in Whitehall with Cromwell—when the two appeared to come to a spiritual accord or deep appreciation of their sincerity—the pageant omitted James Naylor’s entry into Bristol in 1656 riding a donkey, blasphemously re-enacting Christ’s entry into Jerusalem, for which he was branded, mutilated and imprisoned.12 In fact, despite several scenes occurring in Bristol, the pageant can hardly be called a purely local event. In fact, the pageant became a focal point for the Free Church Movement with visitors ‘coming from as far as Harrogate and London’, including the Reverend Herbert Thomas, secretary of the National Free Churches Council.13

Elsewhere, the pageant portrays the forces of the state as generally repressive towards nonconformist religion. Whilst the narrative portrayed was classically Whiggish—in the sense defined by Herbert Butterfield’s Whig Interpretation of History (1931)—in that it presents a teleological view of nonconformist history, often eliding various branches and ignoring schisms, there is no attempt to present nonconformists as coming to any accommodation with the state or the crown, and through to the end of the pageant the authorities are presented in an unfavourable light.

The pageant was praised by the press. The Evening World, which took the pageant’s theme to be ‘The Church’s witness to freedom of conscience in the fight of our forefathers for religious liberty’, called it ‘well produced’, ‘well conceived and excellently presented’, and went on to praise the ‘succession of spectacular and colourfully-lighted scenes’.14 The Western Daily Press agreed, stating that the pageant was ‘one of the most ambitious ever undertaken of the local stage’, in which ‘a huge cast, with sincere, inspiring performances marry successfully the pageant’s twinfold objectives of a demonstration of religious faith and a dramatic production.’ It singled out for particular praise the scenery used in the Covenanters scene, which provided an excellent backdrop in ‘capturing the barrenness of a Scottish Glen’.15

Man post-war pageants received approbation of this kind, yet many also struggled to make significant amounts of money. This was because audience demand was diminishing. In the case of the Bristol Flame of Freedom Pageant, the loss made was in the order of of £400. Writing in the Western Daily Press at the end of May 1949, Anthony H. Cadbury and Edgar Bowden declared that ‘many readers will have witnessed in April the pageant “Flame of Freedom” and realised the wondrous power and sense of freedom that can strengthen people when they are true to the light that they know.’16 Yet, drawing attention to a further ecumenical celebration planned by the Bristol Free Church movement, they remarked: ‘we have at present no funds. The task will be made much easier if we can be assured not only of your prayers but of your financial support.’17

Summing up, Norma Macdonald-Stewart wrote:

It is fair to say that the ‘Flame of Freedom’ proved to be a success in production, in fostering a spirit of comradeship between the Free Churches, and between Ministers and members… Moreover, the true and abiding success—the moving, by the Holy Spirit, of the hearts and minds of the many people who witnessed the performances—may never be made manifest to our human understanding, for He Who blessed the presentation of the pageant will not overlook the spiritual issues, and so to Him must be given ALL the praise and ALL the glory.18

Despite the passion and commitment of Macdonald-Stewart and others, however, church attendances continued to decline rapidly and few religious groups had either the numbers or the funds to stage a pageant of this size again. The Free Church of England Movement suffered a steep decline in congregations from a peak of 90 churches after 1945 to 19 today (none in Bristol).19 After an early post-war revival stretching to the 1951 Festival of Britain and the years around the 1953 Coronation of Elizabeth II, pageants themselves became increasingly unfashionable.


  1. ^ Memo, 19 April 1949, Bristol Record Office. Reference 38017/6.
  2. ^ All quotations from the TS of the Pageant, np. Copy held in Bristol Record Office 38017/6
  3. ^ S.J.D. Green, The Passing of Protestant England: Secularisation and Social Change, c.1920–1960 (Cambridge, 2011).
  4. ^ Ibid.
  5. ^ Western Daily Press, 28 May 1938, 12; Western Daily Press, 27 July 1940, 3.
  6. ^ Evening World, 29 September 1948, np, cutting in Bristol Record Office. 38017/6.
  7. ^ Information in in Bristol Record Office. 38017/6.
  8. ^ Western Daily Press, 31 March 1949, 5.
  9. ^ Western Daily Press, 4 April 1949, 3.
  10. ^ Ibid.
  11. ^ Blair Worden, ‘The Victorians and Oliver Cromwell’, in History, Religion, and Culture: British Intellectual History 1750–1950, ed. Stefan Collini, Richard Whatmore and Brian Young (Cambridge, 2000), 112–135.
  12. ^ Leo Damrosch, ‘Nayler, James (1618–1660), Quaker Preacher and Writer’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, accessed 21 March 2016, http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/19814?docPos=1.
  13. ^ Evening World, 7 April 1949, np, cutting in Bristol Records Office, Reference 38017/30-1.
  14. ^ Ibid.
  15. ^ Western Daily Press, 6 April 1949, 4.
  16. ^ Western Daily Press, 28 May 1949, 8.
  17. ^ Ibid.
  18. ^ Memo, 19 April 1949, Bristol Record Office. 38017/6.
  19. ^ John Fenwick, The Free Church of England: Introduction to an Anglican Tradition (London, 2004), 155–173, accessed 21 March 2016, http://fcofe.org.uk/dioceses/dioceseslist-of-churches.

How to cite this entry

Angela Bartie, Linda Fleming, Mark Freeman, Tom Hulme, Alex Hutton, Paul Readman, ‘‘Flame of Freedom’’, The Redress of the Past, http://www.historicalpageants.ac.uk/pageants/1006/