Roger Shuff holds that the influence of the Brethren movement on wider evangelical life in England in the twentieth century is often underrated. This book records and accounts for the fact that Brethren reached the peak of their strength at the time when evangelicalism was at its lowest ebb, immediately before World War II. However, the movement then moved into persistent decline as evangelicalism regained ground in the postwar period. Accompanying this downward trend has been a sharp accentuation of the contrast between Brethren congregations who engage constructively with the non-Brethren scene and, at the other end of the spectrum, the isolationist group commonly referred to as Exclusive Brethren.
Besides being the first scholarly study of Brethrenism in England for nearly forty years, the book will find a wider audience among present and former adherents of the Brethren movement in its various guises. It also offers useful insights for Christian leaders and other professionals who find themselves with pastoral care for people upon whom their encounter with the Brethren has had a profound psychological impact.