Chapter 5 uses the work of Christian Aid to address the neglect of religious
institutions in histories of the domestic impact of decolonisation. It shows
how the complex interplay between domestic and international contexts
determined the everyday experiences of religious humanitarian action.
Christian Aid was shaped by post-war European reconstruction, by changing
attitudes towards overseas missionary work, by the increasingly multiracial
makeup of the World Council of Churches, by debates about the meaning of
Christianity in modern Britain, and by long-standing rhythms of religious
associational life. Its work reveals how religious organisations adapted in
the face of decolonisation and capitalised on humanitarianism as a way of
encouraging greater participation in religious activities. Christian Aid
played certain dimensions of their imperial connections to their advantage,
while simultaneously distancing themselves from those dimensions that were
losing public support.