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Christian Social Care in Modern Dorchester
Jesus said "Love your neighbour as yourself". The Rev. John White and his fellow Puritans in Dorchester tried to turn this into practical reality by a social welfare scheme that included :
Large sums of money were raised, invested and spent. The social care scheme ultimately failed, although elements lived on. Society was not ready for it. John White's vision was 300 years ahead of its time.
In the 18th and 19th centuries, prominent Christians were leaders in the development of national social welfare schemes. Provisions made by government - pensions, unemployment benefits, health care, schooling etc. - now ensure that there is no longer mass poverty and suffering. Society expects to have all the social welfare provisions that John White was trying to achieve, and more.
However, social deprivation still lurks beneath the surface, even in apparently affluent Dorset. Local Christians still hear Jesus saying "Love your neighbour as yourself". They have initiated or contribute to a number of projects for people who need help above and beyond that available from government or other institutions :
In addition, there are two church schools in the town that are supported by the Parish of Dorchester - St. Osmund's middle school and Manor Park first school. They are direct descendants of the 19th century church schools movement that eventually put into practice the educational vision of John White and his fellow Puritans. Meanwhile, Thomas Hardye upper school traces its origin to 1569 as 'The Freschole' and has been in continuous existence since then. It was prominent in efforts to improve education in John White's Dorchester.
If you would like further information on these projects, please see the DPAG or Bibliography pages.