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Churches and Social Issues in Twentieth-Century Britain$
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G. I. T. Machin

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9780198217800

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198217800.001.0001

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Churches and Personal Morals and Behaviour, 1918–1939

Churches and Personal Morals and Behaviour, 1918–1939

(p.53) 3 Churches and Personal Morals and Behaviour, 1918–1939
Churches and Social Issues in Twentieth-Century Britain

G.I.T. Machin

Oxford University Press

In Britain, activities such as drinking and watching football and cricket matches, cycling and rambling, and reading books and newspapers were inherited from pre-war decades and did not change radically in the 1920s and 1930s, though some of them showed a marked increase. But there was a particularly large growth in gambling opportunities, cinema, and broadcasting. There was wider acceptance and use of artificial contraceptive methods, and an increase in divorce and in the legal facilities for it. In some ways, the growth of unemployment probably contributed to the increased time spent on leisure, as more people had perforce a larger amount of time in which to engage in such pursuits. Personal behaviour embraces a vast range of actual or potential activities, and the Christian Churches would claim to have a natural interest in every one of them. The core of the Churches' interest in social questions was an attempt to instil and preserve morality in both public policy and personal behaviour.

Keywords:   Britain, personal behaviour, Christian Churches, social questions, morality, leisure, gambling, cinema, drinking, divorce

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