William Coughlan

William Coughlan (1902 – 1979) Anglican clergyman and social reformer
William Coughlan, Anglican clergyman and social reformer established an ambitious programme to bring Christian influence to bear on all aspects of life—through local branches, public meetings and a wide range of contacts in the community, and also through pamphlets, press and radio, particularly the movement’s radio programme and its journal, New Day.

William Coughlan, Anglican clergyman and social reformer, was born on 27 December 1902 at Armidale, New South Wales. Although he intended to study law, he turned to the ministry while teaching at Trinity Grammar School, Summer Hill.

In 1926 Coughlan was made deacon and appointed curate at Dulwich Hill; next year he took first-class honours in the licentiate of theology and was ordained priest on 16 December. At St Matthew’s Anglican Church, Bondi, on 11 February 1928 he married Norma Olive Bishop; they were to remain childless.

In 1928-32 he ministered in turn at Bondi, Manly and Marrickville, and in 1934-43 at Holy Trinity, South Kensington (Kingsford from 1936); he also served as assistant-director of the board of education of the Sydney diocese. Beyond Sydney, he had ministered in the coal-mining district of Corrimal where, in 1932-34, he saw suffering caused by the Depression.

Widely read in British Christian social thought, Coughlan was influenced by (Archbishop) William Temple and the Malvern Conference of 1941, Gerald Studdert-Kennedy and the Industrial Christian Fellowship, and George Macleod and the Iona Community.

As secretary of the Sydney diocesan social problem committee, as a memorialist in A Plea for Liberty (1938), as a member of the social questions committee of the general synod of Australia, as editor (1935-36) of the Church Times, as well as in the Christian Socialist Movement and the United Christian Peace Movement, Coughlan expressed his belief that the Church must be concerned with all aspects of life, social as well as personal.

During World War II he pressed for Church guidance of postwar reconstruction. When the social questions committee established the Christian Social Order Movement for this purpose, Coughlan was appointed its director in September 1943. He plunged into an ambitious programme to bring Christian influence to bear on all aspects of life—through local branches, public meetings and a wide range of contacts in the community, and also through pamphlets, press and radio, particularly the movement’s radio programme and its journal, New Day.

With his wife he travelled throughout Australia, helping to organize branches and encourage local initiatives, such as the Aboriginal Children’s Aid Committee at Wellington, New South Wales, and the Christian Co-operative Credit Union in Brisbane.

Complete article : http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A130567b.htm

Post War Problems – Plans, Policies and People
Rev William Coughlan  – Christian Social Order Movement
http://www.nla.gov.au/apps/doview/nla.aus-vn1802380-p (File size = 1.4 Mb)

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