The Malvern Conference: Ten Foundations of Peace


Bill Jr.:  The conference was convened on January 10, 1941, and chaired by William Temple, Archbishop of York (later Archbishop of Canterbury), while England and the Soviet Union were under great stress.  The U.S., through FDR’s ‘Lend-Lease’ program was aiding greatly, including starting to convoy allied ships.  But, until Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941, the country was not at war.  What is foresighted on Temple’s part was that he and the Industrial Christian Fellowship were already planning for the post-war reconstruction. Among the main presenters at the conference were Maurice Reckitt and W.G. Peck, who had visited the U.S. under the auspices of the C.L.I.D.  These are the “Ten Foundations of Peace” issued from the conference:

1. “The right to life and independence of all nations, large, small, strong or weak, must be safeguarded.

2. “Disarmament must be mutually accepted, organic and progressive, both in letter and spirit.

3. “International institutions must be created or recast to insure the loyal and faithful execution of international agreements.

4. “Real needs and just demands of nations and peoples should be benevolently examined.

5. “A peace settlement must be dictated by a sense of acute responsibility which weighs human statutes according to the holy, unshakable rules of divine law.

6. “Extreme inequality of wealth should be abolished.

7.  “Every child, regardless of race or class, should have equal opportunities for education suitable to its peculiar capacities.

8. “The family as a social unit must be safeguarded.

9. “The sense of a divine vocation must be restored to man’s daily work.

10. “Resources of the earth should be used as God’s gifts to the whole human race and used with due consideration for the needs of present and future generations.”


Tim Spofford: It will surprise few that the Malvern Conference and the work it produced were seized upon by some as evidence of the liberal Church to create a “New World Order” and continues to this day to be seen by as such by some.  Henry Luce’s Time Magazine’s article on the conference began: “Church of England liberals moved boldly last week to seize, for the Church, leadership in “ordering the new society” which they found “quite evidently emerging” from the war.   To that end they stole a march on the Government with a program of post-war aims which, coming from any group, would be startling.  Coming from the traditionally complacent and conservative Established church it was little short of revolutionary.”