200th Anniversary of the Sunday School MovementPrint Page Print this page

Photographs supplied by Paul Scott

The plaque commemorates 200th anniversary of the Sunday School Movement which was begun by Robert Raikes in England in 1780.

Robert Raikes ("the Younger") (1736 – 1811) was an English philanthropist and Anglican layman. He was educated at The Crypt School Gloucester. He was noted for his promotion of Sunday School which pre-dated state schooling and was by 1831 schooling 1,250,000 children. They are seen as the precursor schools of the English state school system.

He inherited a publishing business from his father, becoming proprietor of the Gloucester Journal in 1757. He then moved the business into Robert Raikes House in 1758. The movement started with a school for boys in the slums. Raikes had become interested in prison reform, specifically with the conditions in Gloucester gaol and saw that vice would be better prevented than cured. He saw schooling as the best intervention. The best available time was Sunday as the boys were often working in the factories the other six days. The best available teachers were lay people. The textbook was the Bible, and the originally intended curriculum started with learning to read and then progressed to the catechism.

Raikes used the paper to publicise the schools and bore most of the cost in the early years. The movement began in July 1780 in the home of a Mrs Meredith. Only boys attended, and she heard the lessons of the older boys who coached the younger. Later, girls also attended. Within two years, several schools opened in and around Gloucester. He published an account on 3 November 1783 of Sunday schools in his paper, and later word of the work spread through the Gentleman`s Magazine, and in 1784, a letter to the Arminina Magazine.

The original schedule for the schools, as written by Raikes was "The children were to come after ten in the morning, and stay till twelve; they were then to go home and return at one; and after reading a lesson, they were to be conducted to Church. After Church, they were to be employed in repeating the catechism till after five, and then dismissed, with an injunction to go home without making a noise."[



Address:45 Robert Street, Moonta Uniting Church, Moonta, 5558
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -34.067469
Long: 137.588321
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:Culture
Approx. Event Start Date:1780
Approx. Event End Date:1980


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Sunday 2nd November, 1980
Front Inscription

             Sunday 2nd November. 1980
This Plaque Commemorates The Occasion
         Of The Official Celebration Of
    The Uniting Church In Australia, 
           Synod Of South Australia,
To Mark The 200th Anniversary Of
The Sunday School Movement,
Begun By Robert Raikes In England.
              Jesus Said, 
 "Let The Children Come To Me" 
           (Mark 10 : 14)


Source: MA,PS
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