Strangers into Citizens
a report on Salvation Army justice-seeking
By Captains N Coke and N Hanover
1.1 A Story 3
1.2 Background 3
2. The Strangers into Citizens Campaign
2.1 What is Strangers into Citizens campaigning for? 5
2.2 Who is supporting the campaign? 6
3. The Salvation Army and Strangers into Citizens
3.1 Why The Salvation Army in East London supports the campaign 7
3.2 What happened when The Salvation Army got involved? 7
3.3 Quotes from around the territory 9
4. Reflections on future justice-seeking
4.1 Discipleship: A desire to ‘do something!’ 11
4.2 Identity: Playing to our strengths 11
4.3 Action: Broad-based organising 12
4.4 Mission: The wider effects of campaigning 13
4.5 Vision: What next? 14
5. Conclusion 15
6.1 Article in Salvationist published 25 April 2009 16
6.2 Report sent to Salvationist following Strangers into Citizens rally 18
6.3 Historical glimpses of the Salvationist response to injustice 19
6.4 Biblical perspectives on Justice 22
Photos by David Donaldson, Chris Jepson, Nicholas Coke, Nick Hanover
1.1 A Story
In September 2007, two Salvation Army officers serving in the East End of
London formed part of a small group of protesters outside the Excel Centre in
Docklands. Convicted to be there - as neighbourhood Christian ministers,
community representatives and local residents - the two officers felt it necessary
to stand with others who felt that an international arms fair1 dealing in tanks,
missiles and deadly weapons should not happen in their community. As peace
protestors made their voices heard, in the distance the sound of a marching band
could be heard approaching. An elderly nun led the way, followed by a Brazilian
band from the local Roman Catholic Church. The numbers swelled and a small
rally with speeches took place. The two officers began a conversation that went
something like this:
‘Our movement is made for an occasion like this, don’t you think?’
‘We have bands, uniforms, banners, marching songs. We could really make our
presence known if we chose to.’
‘So what’s stopping us?! It’s there in the history books. It’s part of our heritage.’
A seed had been planted…
In October 2007, Stepney and Stratford Corps
joined forces and became formal members of
TELCO2 – the East London branch of London
Citizens. Campaigning around issues of social
justice had become a primary concern for us as
we sought to live out the Territorial Vision
Statement3 in our contexts. ‘Fighting for social
justice’ meant spiritual and practical engagement
with the unjust structures present in our
communities. We became convinced that
effective and pragmatic campaigning could only
be achieved in partnerships that were ‘broad-
based’ – in other words, working together with
like-minded people in our communities around
issues of mutual concern. We discovered leaders
Defence Systems and Equipment International, or DSEi, is one of the world's biggest arms fairs and
has been held in the ExCel centre in East London's Docklands since 1999. It is a "tri-service defence
exhibition", which means it is a forum for selling military equipment of all kinds for land, sea and air.
TELCO (The East London Communities Organisation) is an alliance of 50 East London schools,
churches, mosques and charities working together for the common good. TELCO forms part of London
Citizens, the UK’s largest independent community alliance (www.londoncitizens.org.uk)
‘As disciples of Jesus Christ, we will be a Spirit-filled, radical growing movement with a burning
desire to lead people into a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, actively serve the community, and fight
for social justice.’
of institutions in our locality who shared similar values: churches, faith groups,
schools, and community organisations. Individually, we were weak in the political
field – together we were strong. And the more diverse we were, the more powerful
our partnership became.
Campaigning with London Citizens opened our eyes to a whole new way of getting
things done. The Living Wage campaign4, begun by London Citizens in 2001, has put
an estimated £24 million back in the pockets of low-waged workers. For corps like
ours to say they made that happen is an incredible boast. But it’s true! When in
Stepney we wanted to start a campaign tackling illicit drug-use on the Ocean
Estate, TELCO came out in support and helped us to form a strategy and coalition
that has allowed The Salvation Army in Stepney to have regular meetings with
the highest council and police officials in the borough. Likewise the Strangers into
Citizens campaign is born directly out of a grassroots movement from our
communities. The marginalized and abused suffer – who will stand with them?
Scripture clearly instructs us that fighting for social justice is an essential part of
our Christian discipleship5 and so, relying on God - proudly waving our Salvation
Army banners - we work with others to make it happen.
See appendix 6.4
2. The Strangers into Citizens Campaign:
2.1 What is Strangers into Citizens campaigning for?
Strangers into Citizens is a campaign by The
Citizen Organising Foundation6 - the
country’s largest alliance of civic
institutions - calling for a pathway into
citizenship for irregular migrants who
have made new lives in the UK. The
campaign calls on the Government to
implement an “earned amnesty” as part of
its overhaul of the UK’s immigration
policy. Similar programmes have taken
place in other European countries, like
Spain, Italy, Greece and the Netherlands.
Strangers into Citizens now believes it is
time now for the UK to do the same.
The Strangers into Citizens proposal is that
those who have been living in the UK for
4 or more years should be admitted to a 2-
year pathway to full legal rights (“leave to
remain”) during which they work legally
and demonstrate their contribution to UK
economy and society. After that 2-year period, subject to knowledge of English
and employer and community references, they would be granted permanent leave
The benefits of regularisation
• recognises the dignity of human beings who have made new lives in
• extends and reinforces the rule of law;
• levels the playing-field for low-paid workers;
• enables businesses to employ legally the labour it needs;
• recognises the role that migrants already play in society;
• ensures that tens of thousands of British workers receive the protection
of the law;
• shrinks the black economy;
• frees up billions of pounds in taxes for the Exchequer;
• enables local authorities to plan better;
• solves the expensive, inhuman delay in processing old asylum claims;
• builds a more cohesive British society;
• and turns outlaws into neighbours - "strangers into citizens" –in the best
British tradition of pragmatism and justice.
2.2 Who is supporting the campaign?
Strangers into Citizens has wide support across a range of Christian denominations.
The Roman Catholic Church, the Church of England, the Methodist Church, the
New Testament Church of God, the United Reformed Church, the Baptist Union,
the Evangelical Alliance, the Quakers and many independent churches from
Chinese, Latin American and African backgrounds took part in church services on
4th May with high profile representatives speaking at the services and rally in
Various faith groups are well-represented, too, with the Muslim Council of
Britain, London Buddhist Centre and various Jewish groups in support. In
political terms over 100 MPs and significantly London Mayor Boris Johnson
support the campaign. There is also a long list of high profile charities and trade
unions that back the campaign.7
For a full list see http://www.strangersintocitizens.org.uk/pages/about-us/supporters.htm
3. The Salvation Army and Strangers into Citizens
3.1 Why The Salvation Army in East London supports the campaign
God expects us to. As the
prophets continually remind
us, the Lord God has told us
what is right and what He
demands: ‘See that justice is
done, let mercy be your first
concern, and humbly obey
your God.’8 For the 750,000
currently estimated to be
living in the UK, mercy must
be our first concern. For
justice to be done the law
must adapt for the sake of
Our history tells us we should. As William Booth himself wrote ‘the knowledge that
the oppressed poor have in us a friend able to speak for them will often prevent the
injustice which cowardly and avaricious persons might otherwise inflict.’10 It is
hard to conceive that the Founder would not urge Salvationists to extend the hand
of friendship to those without legal status who are banished to the shadows,
scarred by exploitation, and fearful of destitution - and friends speak up for one
We’ve said we will. In our own Territorial Vision Statement we make it clear that
‘as disciples of Jesus Christ, we will be a Spirit-filled, radical growing movement
with a burning desire to lead people into a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ,
actively serve the community, and fight for social justice.’ As disciples of Jesus the
fight for justice is in the Salvationist’s DNA and as a ‘worldwide evangelical
Christian church’ we have a duty to stand with those who suffer injustice
wherever they are to be found. In this instance they are to be found in our own
communities, at the school gates, in the work place, and in our corps. They are our
friends, neighbours, work colleagues and fellow soldiers. Issues for our community
are issues for our corps and we carry the burden of their care and the hope of their
3.2 What happened when The Salvation Army got involved?
The journey from joining up with London Citizens in September 2007 and marching
on 4th May 2009 has been an intriguing one – not least for the opportunities along
See appendix 6.4
Blood and Fire by Roy Hattersley (1999)
See appendix 6.3
A broad-based campaign like Strangers into Citizens has naturally revolved around
developing relationships between the organisations backing the initiative. In
Tower Hamlets, representatives from Stepney Corps have worked alongside
members of East London Mosque, Queen Mary University, London Buddhist
Centre, St Paul’s Church and other local groups to highlight the campaign. Social
capital12 built up in this way at a local level is not to be underestimated in Kingdom
terms. In a press conference held at the London Muslim Centre, Nick Coke
appeared on two Bangladeshi TV channels,13 talking about Strangers into Citizens.
Many Stepney residents have commented on having seen Nick on the Bangla 10
In Stratford, Nick Hanover spoke in local churches about the campaign. Local
councillor Alan Craig of the Christian People’s Alliance and London Mayor
candidate commended Nick on his blog14. A member of the local primary school
staff in which Nick is involved joined the Salvation Army contingent on the rally.
Broad-based organising like this builds relationships that strengthen communities.
There has been a very interesting
response from within the
Salvation Army, too. Having
highlighted the campaign
through word of mouth, London
Central Division News, the
internet and Salvationist -
Salvation Army officers,
Soldiers, adherents and friends
have roused themselves to
support the issue. On 4 May, 80
Salvation Army linked people
voted with their feet and joined the church service and march - 13 different corps
and centres were represented. 94 people joined ‘The Salvation Army Supporting
Strangers into Citizens Facebook Group’15 – members are from all over the UK
including Scotland, Wales and Cornwall. Many sent us messages indicating that
they were supporting the cause but it was too far to travel or were busy elsewhere
on a Bank Holiday Monday. We also generated a welcoming response from
Zimbabwean Salvationists in Britain – they were so pleased to find the UK
Salvation Army taking up issues that are close to their hearts. See the quotes in the
next section for a variety of support for the campaign. It should also be noted that
a surprising number of people indicated that they felt that this kind of
campaigning was an element of Salvationism that needed to be rediscovered.
Finally, we were a little taken aback by how pleased the organisers were to have
our support – however small. There was an offer to have a Salvation Army band
Social capital - this theory, proposed by social theorist Robert Putnam amongst others, holds that ‘the
more people build and remain in relationships of reciprocity, particularly in local institutions and
associations, the greater the increase in trust that builds among them.’
Bangla TV and Channel S have a combined national UK audience of up to 1 million people from a
South Asian background.
Full post can be seen here: http://www.meetalancraig.com/?p=74
lead the whole march of 20,000 people! Alas, we could not find one in the short
time we had available but it reminds us that we do have so much to offer such
3.3 Quotes from around the territory
Cadet Graeme Smith, William Booth College:
There were around 80 people connected to The Salvation Army marching and
several people spoke to those around me saying how good it was to see the Army
supporting them in this campaign. This is, of course, part of our heritage that
we’ve forgotten so it’s great to see the Army out there where it really matters
supporting some of the most marginalized people in our society! Let’s hope we
keep it up and if anything increase our support for this and other campaigns that
are about lifting the mantle of oppression from the lives of individuals and
Captain Lynne Clifton, Folkestone:
We hope and pray that things go well for you all and that the SA contingent not
only enjoy themselves but make a positive witness and contribution to the day.
Major David Taylor, Wood Green:
I warmly welcome the Strangers into Citizens campaign. The case has been made so
clearly and thoughtfully for a ‘one off’ amnesty, that it really is to my mind a ‘no
brainer!’ It just needs the political will and common sense. It was great to see so
many on the rally, and to catch the vision of what such diverse and passionate
citizenship will mean for this nation, not to mention the satisfaction that comes
from doing the right thing.
Major Angela Irving, London Central DHQ:
As far as I am concerned, I was pleased to see members of The Salvation Army
visibly taking a stand for social justice. This is part of our DNA but I feel that
maybe today we do not have as loud a voice as the early Salvationists had. Have
we become too concerned about the effect 'speaking out' would have on our
reputation as an organisation?
I was thrilled to see a good cross-
section of SA representation
especially as it was a Bank
Holiday and, for many, would
have been an opportunity to have
some rest and relaxation. In
particular, I was encouraged by
the good support from London
Adam Bonner, Sutton:
I really hope it went well and that, more importantly, the required action will be
followed through with. You were at the forefront of our thoughts and prayer.
Captain Andrew Clark, Aberdeen:
Wish we could have been there…
praying God will take and use every
Captain Chris Baldwin, Falmouth:
I second that!
Kevin Chubb, Cardiff:
Just so sorry I couldn’t be there
yesterday - but sounds like you had a
So good to see our tribe represented/representing.
Good to see TSA involved in supporting the community and justice - and getting
our presence back on the streets
Captain Matthew Reid, William Booth College:
I thought the day went well and was glad to see a good number of Salvationists
when at other similar events there have been so few. A good, loud band would
have been even better and as such it was an opportunity for the brass culture to be
truly prophetic, this would be good to see in the future.
Neil Jameson16, Executive Director - Citizen Organising Foundation:
Great job. Your folk looked and were impressive. Really well done with the turn
Emmanuel Gotara, London Citizens organiser:
Well done for all your efforts! And thanks for a great turnout. Salvation Army
really delivered on the day - the highest turnout! Please pass our thanks and
aprreciation to those who came and made the service a memorable occasion.
Roz Lynch, Youthworker and Thomas, youth club member, Poplar:
As the anthropologist Margaret Mead said. 'Never doubt that a small group of
thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing
that ever has.' To paraphrase Edmund Burke - all that is necessary for bad stuff to
happen in the world is for good people to do nothing. We believe as Gandhi said
that 'we must become the change we want to see'.
That's why we march with Strangers into Citizens. We want to speak up. We are
committed citizens. We refuse to do nothing. And we want to be the change we
want to see in the world.
Read about Neil Jameson, founder and director of London Citizens here:
4. Reflections for future justice-seeking
4.1 Discipleship: A desire to ‘do something!’
In our experience firstly as soldiers and then corps officers, we feel it is fair to
state that ‘fighting for social justice’ has been the hardest part of the UKT vision
statement for us to work out in practice. Whilst evangelism and social action have
been at the forefront of our discipleship, we have struggled to give issues of justice
the same attention and time, despite the clear Biblical and Territorial mandate to
make it an equal priority. There have been some very good campaigns – Jubilee
2000, Make Poverty History and Stop the Traffik for example – that have captured
our hearts and minds over the last few years but even those have felt a little
disconnected from our communities. Action has been centred on prayer or
lobbying MPs but it has been hard to do much more than that. Strangers into
Citizens, however, has been a different experience – there has been opportunity to
‘do something!’ locally which has resonated nationally. It has been an opportunity
not just to act on behalf of others but to act with them.
We firmly believe that officers, soldiers, adherents and friends of The Salvation
Army UK are ready to act over issues of social justice. However, many feel like we
once did - powerless to know how to act for real and lasting change, working from
the bottom up in our own communities. Strangers into Citizens and the other
campaigns we are involved with in London Citizens has proved that it does not need
to be like this – local action can lead to national change through broad-based
organising. Every member of every corps can actively get involved in campaigning
at a local level.
Representatives from every one of the
13 corps and centres who turned up on
4th May could name individual people
who are affected by the issues Strangers
into Citizens were putting on the
national agenda. This is the way to
campaign – we are not just ‘do gooders’
helping the unfortunate – we are
brothers and sisters of those who
suffer unjustly and we stand with
them just as we know they would
stand with us if needs arise! This is the
true path of discipleship and
4.2 Identity: Playing to our strengths
We are convinced that The Salvation Army as a militant movement with
visibility and voice is uniquely placed to lend both to the cause of those who have
neither. In practical terms our movement’s corporate identity with uniforms,
bands and flags gives an unparalleled ability to engage in the public sphere
politically. Notwithstanding this, our reach and scope for action and advocacy
goes far beyond our practical strengths.
Rooted within local communities The Salvation Army, its members and friends
are ideally situated to not only speak on behalf of, but to mobilise, those directly
affected by injustice. In doing so we incarnate our desire to ‘serve the community,
and fight for social justice’ as we strengthen community, foster cohesion and align
ourselves with the powerless, the maligned, the marginalized.
Our movement’s place within the
nation’s consciousness and the
esteem we enjoy affords us the
opportunity and the
responsibility to prophetically
provoke the public and the
policy-makers alike. Indeed our
internationalism offers us a
unique and compelling
perspective upon the injustices
that plague our world. While our
fellowships are enriched by the
increasing diversity globalisation
brings we are more acutely aware of the pain and the effect of injustice. As an
international movement we raise and challenge issues not as detached observers
but as members of a global family keen to ‘maintain justice and do what is right’
(Isaiah 56:1). In seeking justice our solidarity is personal.
When it comes to political activism, confronting injustice and affecting changes,
our ability to organize, galvanize and mobilize are undoubted strengths. Organized
people are always more powerful than the disorganized - our justice-seeking
history is proof enough17. This is a rich inheritance which must not be squandered,
but instead shape our future.
As this year’s Annual Review reminds us ‘The Salvation Army has a God-given
duty to share resources and skills so that the world’s most vulnerable people can be
released from daily struggle for survival to live life to the full and have hope for
4.3 Action: Broad-based organising
Amidst his own struggle for justice Martin Luther King Jnr observed that ‘we are
caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a garment of destiny.
Whatever affects one directly, affects all directly.’19 If the effects of injustice
‘affect all directly’ it follows that justice-seeking action must involve us all.
Injustice is rarely defeated in isolation.
Belief in Action: A Year in our Life, 2009:28
The Autobiography of Martin Luther King Jnr edited by Clayborne Carson (2001) p.189
However, experience suggests that this ‘network of mutuality’ is fragmenting as
the threads that once connected the individual to the family, the family to their
community and the community to the wider society fray and threaten to break
altogether. The ‘garment of destiny’ demands that we address these issues, find
solutions and seek justice mutually.
As a movement our ability to promote change and shape social reform will rest
upon our ability to form and participate in coalitions of consensus built upon
relationships of common interest. In generating collective power for the powerless
we must be willing to seek and welcome partners however diverse and unlikely. To
be effective such partnerships should be rooted in a local reality. Campaigns,
national or otherwise are won and lost at a neighbourhood level.
Yet issues that are locally important often have to be addressed nationally – the
ability to energize and mobilize ‘beyond the local’ is paramount. As is often the
case, our history proves a rich resource. The 'British Match Consumers League'
which the Salvation Army initiated as part of their match factory campaign,20 ably
demonstrates the importance of local concerns fuelling national action. With its
local, divisional and territorial structures The Salvation Army remains well placed
to establish and utilize the broad-based community networks needed to raise
awareness and apply pressure. In short, to effect significant and lasting social
change be that locally or nationally.
4.4 Mission: The wider effects of campaigning
Within the mission of God flowing out through the Church and The Salvation
Army to the world are many streams that collide. As we have campaigned for
Strangers into Citizens we have found that it has enhanced our evangelism, social
action, worship and discipleship greatly. In our meetings we have been able to
praise and thank God for the way he sees us not as strangers but as citizens
whatever our legal status. In our Bible studies we have learnt that the true disciple
holds together both justice and righteousness21. In our community we have noticed
how our evangelism and Gospel sharing has gained considerable standing and
credibility amongst those who see we
are willing to confront the unjust
structures in our communities. Even
more compelling perhaps has been
the feeling of optimism and
solidarity that working together
towards a common goal has
generated between people at the
centre of corps activities and those
on the fringes. Whichever way we
look at it – the campaigning has
become a signpost pointing towards
Jesus Christ, the Gospel and the
See appendix 6.4
4.5 Vision: What next?
If our vision is for The Salvation Army to be a ‘Spirit-filled, radical growing
movement with a burning desire to fight for social justice’ then our brief foray into
direct action through the Strangers into Citizens experience has taught us some
important lessons for the future. Such lessons are for us in Stepney and Stratford
but we believe they are applicable, too, in many neighbourhoods, towns and cities
across the UK today. We have learnt the following:
Justice is a discipleship imperative – to neglect it is to neglect the Gospel. To
embrace it is to resonate with the purposes of God and his kingdom.
Justice begins with people, not just on behalf of people. In our corps, centres and
communities are those with whom we need to stand.
Justice is different to social action and deserves an equal priority within
Partnership and broad-based organising is the best way to build enough power
to bring about effective and long-lasting change.
There are many Salvationists around the UK territory that are keen to get
involved in justice-seeking.
Our movement is made for justice – we have the history, structures and
elements in place to be a dynamic justice-seeking movement.
Our hope is that our experience will stimulate further conversations about justice-
seeking across the territory. We have seen it at work, we have felt the Holy
Spirit working through it and we want others to know about it, too.
So finally, in the tradition of both the ancient justice-seekers – the Old Testament
prophets – and the modern such as Martin Luther King Jr, we dare to dream of
what an Army of justice-seekers can achieve:
We dream that individuals and centres within the UK Salvation Army network
are empowered to fight for social justice in their communities.
We dream that one day Salvation Army corps and centres will be confident
enough to take the lead in building local partnerships with other likeminded
institutions to work together on common justice-seeking goals.
We dream of The Salvation Army in the UK becoming renowned for its justice
seeking stance - a movement that not only does good things, but fights for what is
We dream of the Salvation Army once again taking its bands, uniforms and
banners onto the street in radical public declarations of standing for God’s
kingdom of justice and righteousness.
We dream of a Salvation Army that maximises its corporate identity and
international connections to energise and resource grassroots campaigns.
We dream of being a Spirit-filled, radical growing movement with a burning
desire to fight for social justice.
6.1 Appendix 1
Article in Salvationist published 25 April 2009
Strangers into citizens
ON the occasions I walk down Mile End Road towards Whitechapel, I sense their
presence among the people milling around the busy street and market. Look closer
and I observe them living in the shadows: innocent men, women and children
terrified of the authorities – a hard-working mother exploited by unscrupulous
business people and resigned to accept low wages so she can feed and clothe her
children. An honest father forced into dealing on the black market because years of
waiting in limbo has stripped him of the power to make any other kind of choice.
When we speak to one another the ‘shadow people’ all convey the same
sentiments – they talk of fear, powerlessness, exploitation and of being strangers
in a land that is their home.
As much as this sounds like something from early Salvation Army history, it is
not 1865 – this is Whitechapel in 2009. Those of us who live in London’s East End
are only too aware that ‘darkest England’ is still well and truly with us. The
‘shadow people’ are irregular migrants living in the UK. The tabloids falsely call
them ‘illegals’ – a term of degradation that aims to strip human beings of dignity
and reduce their existence to a negative word on a printed page. We prefer to call
them Yusuf, Comfort and Li – for those are their names. They are real people,
living real lives – not only in London but also throughout the UK today.
Many of these migrants came to Britain many years ago, more often than not
fleeing persecution, human rights abuses or war. They have settled here, put down
roots and started families – often they are desperate to work and contribute to the
economy but they do not have this most basic of human rights. In the search for
survival many are taken advantage of by unlawful gangs and forced into
criminality. In this kind of darkest England there must be a way out.
The Salvation Army in Stepney and Stratford takes the UK territory’s vision
statement to ‘fight for social justice’ seriously. Therefore we were delighted to
discover a campaign gathering pace and opening up a national debate on issues
relating to irregular migrants. The Citizen Organising Foundation – an alliance of
faith and community organisations – runs the Strangers into Citizens campaign.
One afternoon I found myself sitting in their Whitechapel office, only yards from
where the early Salvationists conceived the great justice campaigns of the past –
campaigns to raise the age of consent, to tackle sweated labour and address the
plight of women working in toxic match factories. As I mulled over the Strangers
into Citizens proposal for a one-off earned amnesty for long-term migrants to the
UK, I heard the rallying cry of justice by our Salvationist forebears echoing down
Strangers into Citizens is a strategic and measured response to the issue of
thousands of people who have been living in the UK for many years and yet are
denied basic citizens’ rights because their cases are stuck in a bureaucratic system
that can never hope or afford to deal with the backlog. The proposal calls for a
two-year pathway to full legal rights for people who have lived in the UK for four
years or more during which they work legally and demonstrate their contribution
to the UK economy and society. Similar programmes have been undertaken in
Spain, Italy, Greece and the Netherlands. The campaign has some strong and
growing cross-party support.
The call for an amnesty has garnered the support of churches around the UK.
Roman Catholic, Anglican, Methodist and New Testament Church of God voices
have been raised together with the Old Testament prophets to ‘stand in the gap’
and call for justice for those ‘outsiders’ among us (see Ezekiel 22:9–31).
On 4 May representatives from the different denominations will be attending a
church service and a 30,000-strong rally in Central London to give voice to the
campaign and to stand together in unity. Salvationists from London’s East End
will join them – marching for justice with our fellow soldiers, friends and
neighbours. Many other people linked with The Salvation Army from around the
UK are planning to join us. This is the stuff of history that our movement is made
of and our courageous reputation is built on – a march for justice with and on
behalf of the powerless and vulnerable. We ask that you take a few moments to
consider what you could do in response.
If you have…
5 minutes: Watch the Strangers into Citizens campaign video at
10 minutes: Visit the campaign website and read the stories of people affected by
these issues; pray for the ‘shadow people’ living among us.
30 minutes: Lobby your MP or council by writing a letter in support of the
campaign. Further details on the website.
1 hour: Share information and pray about Strangers into Citizens with people
1 day: Join the Strangers into Citizens rally and church service on 4 May. Meet
other Salvation Army-linked people at Westminster Central Hall, Storey’s Gate,
Westminster, London by 11.30 am. For more information call Captain Nick Coke
on 020 7791 2861 or email email@example.com
6.2 Appendix 2
Report sent to Salvationist following Strangers into Citizens
Bank Holiday Monday found Salvationists from across London marching for
justice in support of the Strangers into Citizens campaign. Seeking a practical and
humane solution to the plight of irregular migrants the expectancy of the 20,000
marchers was infectious.
Following a united church service in which the Chief Secretary Bill Cochrane
prayed for the success of the campaign, this prophetic group of Christians joined
the colourful, vibrant mass of justice-seekers (many in national dress!) as they
marched and danced their way through Parliament Square, past Downing Street
and gathered in Trafalgar Square.
As speakers made the case for an earned amnesty and a ‘pathway to citizenship’ it
was exciting to see numerous Corps flags jostling for position amongst the
thousands of banners and placards – a tangible reminder of The Salvation Army’s
rich heritage in political activism!
The campaign continues and so does the shame, fear and exploitation of those who
find themselves in this predicament. The historic call for justice and liberation
based upon the dignity of every human being is growing, but it has yet to be
answered, please pray for the campaign and work for its success.
Out of degradation into dignity.
Out of the shadows into the light.
Let’s turn strangers into citizens.
6.3 Appendix 3
Historical Glimpses of the Salvationist response to injustice
The Maiden Tribute: Raising the age of consent
In 1885 William Stead and Bramwell Booth of the Salvation Army joined forces to
expose what they believed was an increase in child prostitution. In July 1885, Stead
purchased Eliza Armstrong, a thirteen year-old daughter of a chimney-sweep, to
show how easy it was to procure young girls for prostitution. Stead published an
account of his investigations in the Pall Mall Gazette entitled The Maiden Tribute
of Modern Babylon.
Action in spite of opposition...
According to Roy Hattersley’s account22 we learn that the Archbishop of
Canterbury was ‘scandalised’ by the campaign of action drawn up by Booth and
Stead. Indeed the ‘instant outrage which swept through London’ was directed not
at the perpetrators but rather ‘the wrath of society was turned on W. T. Stead as
the penalty for drawing public attention to aspects of London life which the
Establishment thought best ignored.’ As Catherine Booth once remarked ‘it is
never convenient for Ministers or responsible church wardens or deacons to ask
how Mr Moneymaker gets the golden sovereigns or crisp notes which look so well
in the collection.’ But ‘justice is truth in action’ however inconvenient or
The Salvationist response...
Nevertheless The War Cry of 18 July contained a ‘Special Notice!’ and urged its
readers to support the ‘Protection of Young Girls’. It announced that ‘A
PETITION to the HOUSE OF COMMONS for the above purpose will lie for
signature at the various corps’ headquarters throughout the country for the next
few days. All officers and soldiers are earnestly desired to sign it and to obtain as
large a number of signatures as possible.’
As Richard Collier23 reminds us ‘in seventeen non-stop days of protest meetings
Booth’s soldiers netted an unprecedented 393,000 signatures to a petition for raising
the age of consent.’
On the day when the House of Commons considered the final stages of the Bill,
the Salvation Army presented its petition to Parliament. The ‘document’ was a
roll of paper two and a half miles long. It would have stretched from St Paul’s
Cathedral to Westminster Abbey. General Booth would have liked to carry his
four hundred thousand names to Parliament at the head of a great procession. But,
it being a sitting day, bands and banners were not allowed in the precincts. So, as
The Times reported on 31 July 1885:
‘Blood and Fire’ by Roy Hattersley (1999)
‘General Next To God’ by Richard Collier (1965)
‘it was borne on a wagon, drawn by four grey horses and accompanied as far as
Whitehall Place by one hundred and fifty cadets from the Clapham Training
Home, a fifty-piece brass band and three hundred female members of the Army in
their well-known uniforms. On arriving there the petition was removed from the
van and carried on the shoulders of eight officers into the House of Commons.’
The age of consent was raised to sixteen, (a year more than the House of Lords
had proposed) while strengthening existing legislation against prostitution. The
Bill became law during the second week of August prompting Booth to write in
The War Cry: ‘we thank God for the success he has given to the first effort of The
Salvation Army to improve the laws of the nation.’
In September, William Stead and five others were charged with unlawfully
kidnapping a minor and committed for trial at the Old Bailey. Stead was found
guilty and was imprisoned for three months in Holloway Gaol.
According to Richard Collier’s portrait of ‘The General Next to God’ ‘the greatest
irony was that the trial (involving Bramwell Booth and W. T. Stead) did not
harm The Salvation Army; it sent their prestige soaring to the highest peak in its
stormy twenty-year saga.’
Lights in Darkest England24
A mother and two children under nine years old, were found to be working 16
hours a day, without lunch or tea breaks, making matches in appalling conditions
for only two shillings.
The matches, which sold at 1d for 12 boxes, were made from white or yellow
phosphorus, a poisonous substance which often brought about necrosis or 'phossy
jaw' in the match-makers. Phossy jaw was a disease which ate into the bone of the
jaw causing severe pain and eventually death.
Quoted from The Salvation Army’s International Heritage Centre website:
The Salvationist response...
In 1891, The Salvation Army opened a clean, airy, well-lit factory where harmless
red phosphorus was used in the match making process. Booth called the matches
'Lights in Darkest England'. Tea making facilities were made available and the 100
workers received decent wages - more than one third above the rate in other
At the same time the army launched a nationwide 'British Match Consumers
League' whose members were urged to 'worry their grocer, oilmen or other
shopkeeper, who does not at present stock or sell these matches, at least twice a
week, until such time as he does do so'.
When grocers and other shopkeepers began to stock only safety matches,
commercial match factories were forced to not only improve working conditions,
but also to use only the safe red phosphorous in their factories.
Ten years after the opening of his match factory, Booth closed it having achieved
his original purpose 'to raise the wages of the matchmakers, to fight against
sweating, and to help the poor to help themselves by labour'. He turned instead to
finding other ways to help the underprivileged.
6.4 Appendix 4
Biblical perspectives on justice
How long will you defend the unjust and show partiality to the wicked? Defend
the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and
oppressed. Rescue the weak and needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.
It is not good to be partial to the wicked or to deprive the innocent of justice.
This is what the LORD says: "Go down to the palace of the king of Judah and
proclaim this message there: 'Hear the word of the LORD, O king of Judah, you
who sit on David's throne—you, your officials and your people who come through
these gates. This is what the LORD says: Do what is just and right. Rescue from
the hand of his oppressor the one who has been robbed. Do no wrong or violence
to the alien, the fatherless or the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this
place. For if you are careful to carry out these commands, then kings who sit on
David's throne will come through the gates of this palace, riding in chariots and on
horses, accompanied by their officials and their people.”
Learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the
fatherless, plead the case of the widow.
This is what the LORD says: ‘Maintain justice and do what is right, for my
salvation is close at hand and my righteousness will soon be revealed.’
Do not exploit the poor because they are poor and do not crush the needy in court,
for the LORD will take up their case and will plunder those who plunder them.
The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern.
Better a little with righteousness than much gain with injustice.
The Lord God has told us what is right and what he demands: ‘See that justice is
done, let mercy be your first concern, and humbly obey your God.’
I hate, I despise your religious feasts;
I cannot stand your assemblies.
Even though you bring me burnt offerings and grain offerings,
I will not accept them.
Though you bring choice fellowship offerings,
I will have no regard for them.
Away with the noise of your songs!
I will not listen to the music of your harps.
But let justice roll on like a river,
righteousness like a never-failing stream!
He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he
went into the synagogue, as was his custom. And he stood up to read. The scroll of
the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is
"The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to release the oppressed,
to proclaim the year of the Lord's favour."
Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes
of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, and he began by saying to
them, "Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing."
Woe to you Pharisees, because you give God a tenth of your mint, rue and all
other kinds of garden herbs, but you neglect justice and the love of God. You
should have practiced the latter without leaving the former undone.
Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming
upon you. Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. Your gold
and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh
like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days. Look! The wages you failed to
pay the workmen who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of
the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty. You have lived on
earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of
slaughter. You have condemned and murdered innocent men, who were not