Chapter 23 » 23.51

The individual and the community

Testimony concerning Stephen Henry Hobhouse (1881–1961):

He soon ceased to attend church services and resigned from the University Rifle Corps on pacifist grounds. He also resolved never to accept the position in the world to which he was the heir, that of a wealthy landowner and country squire…

Although from childhood far from strong in health, Stephen Hobhouse was again and again led to take a difficult course required of him by his conviction of divine leading, whatever the cost to himself… Disturbed by the contrast between the luxurious comfort which he sometimes experienced in visiting the homes of wealthy Friends, and the hard lives of ordinary working people in those days (fifty years ago) he took a small flat in a block of workers’ dwellings in a poor part of London because he felt that his discipleship of Jesus called him to share their life as much as he could, and also to open the eyes of his comfortable friends to the way in which the great majority of people had to live.

Hertford & Hitchin Monthly Meeting, 1961

See also 18.13 (concerning Mary Hughes) & 24.52 (concerning Douglas Smith)

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