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Aspects of the response of the churches to the 1984-5 industrial dispute in the British coal industry

Chapman, Janet Elizabeth (1991) Aspects of the response of the churches to the 1984-5 industrial dispute in the British coal industry. Masters thesis, Durham University.



For twelve months, from March 1984, the British coal industry was embroiled in a highly political industrial dispute, initially provoked by the sudden announcement of the closure of Cortonwood Colliery. The aims of this thesis are -a) to identify some of the ethical and theological issues raised by the dispute; b) to document the involvement of the different levels of the Christian church in the dispute; c) to identify patterns of theological thought and action; d) to discern what lessons there are to be learnt for the church. After giving a brief factual background to the dispute, attention is turned to the different parties to the dispute and their understanding of events, with key ethical issues raised by the dispute being identified. The focus then shifts to the various attempts of the churches at regional and national level to respond to the events and issues of the dispute being described. Clergy, church members and mining people from several pit communities in Durham and South Yorkshire have been interviewed and the results are summarised. The church responses are then analysed using a typology adapted from that devised by Drs D.G.A. Koelega in the report 'Unemployment: Work for the Church' (Driebergen, 1986) and issues raised by the responses are discussed further. Overall, it was concluded that the more the church became involved in ministering to those caught up in the dispute the more she was able to promote discussion of the underlying ethical issues. However, the church response was weakened by lack of communication between the various denominations, and the church would have made a more distinctly Christian response if she had concentrated more on probing the underlying ethical issues rather than on trying to produce specific peace formulas.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:1991
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:18 Dec 2012 12:09

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