Talk:Newington Green Unitarian Church

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edit·history·watch·refresh Stock post message.svg To-do list for Newington Green Unitarian Church:

Here are some tasks awaiting attention:
  • Article requests : A paragraph on the importance of nonconformism in C18 and Unitarianism thereafter, within the context of a heavily Anglican society (until WWI). A discussion of how notable congregants were influenced by the church and its doctrine or ministers. Something about current notable members, if possible, and the church's influence on the community (Newington Green, Islington, Hackney but also UK Unitarian community).
  • Cleanup : Collapse the repeated references, using <ref="name">. Check consistency of citations; with titles, source and date accessed. Tweak lede. Fix piped links.
  • Copyedit : Replace hyphens with endashes throughout.
  • Expand : Site NGUC within the geographical network of other nonconformist (and, later, Unitarian) places of worship, e.g. Homerton and Stoke Newington. Also expand C20 if possible. Expand ecclesiastical architecture, and paraphrase. Add photos. Add re 1970 trust fund.
  • Infobox : Add geoco-ordinates.
  • Verify : Ensure info from non-fact-checked sources is justifiable (e.g. interview with minister OK, unverified assertions not OK). Check status of all images and amend as needed.
  • Wikify : Use the {{IoE}} template for existing Images of England info, and add more info if relevant.
  • Other : Transform links (only one?) in text to footnotes. Move asides there too.

Correction re merger[edit]

Newington Green Unitarian Church and Unity Church Islington have never merged. The two churches have overlapping memberships and share a minister, but remain legally separate and independent.Albionsyd (talk) 17:26, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for that, o new editor! It makes the article even better. BrainyBabe (talk) 18:17, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
Hm. So does the no-marriage decision apply to both bits of New Unity? Could you have a look at that subsection in particular, to ensure it is accurate? Thanks! BrainyBabe (talk) 18:27, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
Hope that helps. Have also made a couple of other minor edits. A useful reference for earlier history would be Trust in Reason published by NGUC in 1951 to mark its 250th anniversary and available in the NGUC library.Albionsyd (talk) 19:03, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
I believe you are referring to the following booklet, which I have been using throughout:
Trust in Freedom: The Story of Newington Green Unitarian Church 1708 - 1958 by Michael Thorncroft. Privately printed for church trustees, 1958.
Chapter titles: The Fertile Soil; The Church is Built; The Early Years (1714-1758); The Age of Richard Price; New Causes for Old; The Ideal of Service; The Lights Go Out; The Present Day.
Thanks for the corrections. BrainyBabe (talk) 14:30, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
I was referring to that booklet, although I had the wrong title and the wrong year of publication! Albionsyd (talk) 17:02, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

Dictionary of National Biography[edit]

I note here, in case future editors wish to chase this up, that the Thorncroft booklet gives as an appendix a list of all the ministers from 1704 to 1958. It notes that several of them are mentioned in the Dictionary of National Biography. I list those here, with their dates of service:

  1. Richard Biscoe, 1716-27
  2. Hugh Worthington, 1739-42
  3. Richard Price, 1758-83
  4. Thomas Amory (Unitarian minister), 1770-74
  5. Joseph Towers, 1778-99
  6. John Kentish (Unitarian minister), 1799-1802
  7. Rochemont Barbauld, 1802-08
  8. Thomas Rees (Unitarian minister), 1807-13
  9. Thomas Cromwell (Unitarian minister), 1838-64

It has surprised and pleased me to find out how many people associated with NGUC are notable enough to have their own Wikipedia article already. I leave the names above with redlinks, in the hopes that someone might be tempted to create articles for them. BrainyBabe (talk) 20:02, 28 May 2009 (UTC)

I have submitted the redlinks to Wikipedia:Requested articles/Biographies. BrainyBabe (talk) 13:10, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
It is very easy to stub these articles, I have just created one for Hugh Worthington. In his case it is also possible to copy over his complete biography article from s:Worthington, Hugh (DNB00). The text for stubs can be found here:
The following is a citation example citation:

Tweaks: Recusancy and inflation[edit]

I'm very glad to see some other eyes and fingers on this article. Two small matters: I notice that "(see Recusant)" was removed from the background paragraph in the changes of punctuation. Was this a mistake? I think it adds useful context, and is a word that readers may not have come across before.

If recusant is directly relevant then it should be incorporated into the text, or if it isn't it should be in a See also section. --Malleus Fatuorum 19:05, 3 June 2009 (UTC)
I have piped it, hope that's OK.BrainyBabe (talk) 09:59, 4 June 2009 (UTC)
Some might consider that you've created an easter egg by piping "went underground" to recusancy, particularly as the terms aren't really equivalent. Conspicuously failing to attend chapel on Sundays is hardly "going underground". --Malleus Fatuorum 10:30, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

Secondly, I see that the C18 currency has been upgraded to modern: "The original 1708 building was financed with £300 from goldsmith Edward Harrison, equivalent to about £40,000 as of 2015.[1]" I am always unsure about these equivalences. In what meaningful sense is it equivalent? It would cost one to two orders of magnitude more than 30K to erect any such structure now. Perhaps it is more helpful to say X years' wages for a farm labourer or somesuch formula? Anyway, thanks fror your proofreading and general attention. BrainyBabe (talk) 17:57, 3 June 2009 (UTC)

{{Inflation}} uses the UK's retail price index, which I think is more relevant than what it would cost to build today, which is no doubt a great deal more than the building would sell for. --Malleus Fatuorum 19:15, 3 June 2009 (UTC)--Malleus Fatuorum 19:15, 3 June 2009 (UTC)
I have no idea what the building would sell for: presumably it would be bundled with the land, and it isn't clear how the land came into the congregation's possession. My point is that the tools to monitor inflation, whether by RPI or another measure, are great at calculating, but give little useful comparison to the reader, especially when comparing prices over centuries (as opposed to a couple of decades). I think it misleads the average intelligent 14 year old (a potential target reader) to assert that the building was financed with what amounts to £30K in modern money. Is there a list of equivalency tools? Maybe something like The Economist's Big Mac test? BrainyBabe (talk) 09:59, 4 June 2009 (UTC)
Yes, here, for instance, where the data for the {{Inflation}} template comes from. --Malleus Fatuorum 10:30, 4 June 2009 (UTC)
That is a fascinating site, thank you so much! It gives me a way to think about different purposes for equivalences. They say, under a section on projects, "If the amount you are asking about is the construction of a church, the cost of a war, or a new highway, again the context is important. If the question is how much it cost compared to the present cost of materials or labor, you would use the GDP deflator and/or the wage or earning index. However, you may be more interested in how important this project was to the community or the country. In the past there were less amounts of materials and labor available for all projects. So to measure the importance of this project (compares to other projects) use the share of GDP indicator." I think that the second measure is the better one -- how important this construction was to the community. Do you agree?
However, their "share of GDP" tool goes back only to 1830 for UK calculations (and only goes to 2007, but that two-year delay is trivial). Just to see what 300UKP in 1830 would be "worth" today, I entered the figures and hey presto:
£27,209.31, using the GDP deflator; £857,904.42, using the share of GDP. A massive difference! The latter figure feels much most realistic to me -- what was this meeting house worth to the people who decided to build it, and the one generous donor who came up with the sum. (It's apt that a church is the first example these economists give.) Presumably, if the tool stretched back another 122 years, the equivalent amount might well be over £1m. From another table about the CPI in the UK, I learned that 300 UKP in 1708 compares to 436 500 now. I propose the phrase "close to a million pounds in today's money", with a more detailed footnote. BrainyBabe (talk) 11:52, 4 June 2009 (UTC)
I agree that that it's difficult to get a real feel for what, say £300 was worth in 1708, but I think it's important that we try to provide one, otherwise the scale of the achievement is unrecognised. So long as your suggested "close to a million pounds in today's money" is properly cited, and you're clear about when "today" is (as of 2009), it seems reasonable to me. --Malleus Fatuorum 13:47, 4 June 2009 (UTC)
On reflection I'm not certain that I'd be happy to extrapolate from the 1830 figure back to 1708. There have been significant periods of deflation in our history as well as of inflation. I'm not certain that we can do better for such an early date than the price index without hard data. --Malleus Fatuorum 13:52, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

Suggestion to join refs[edit]

Any objections to joining the repeated references? In other words, using <ref="name"> in the tags, so that instead of, say, the multiple entries for "The Church Where You Can't Marry" 4 April 2008 Islington Tribune in the References section, they all go to one? Joining them is the standard, but there are a few editors who prefer the references separately. --GRuban (talk) 18:05, 3 June 2009 (UTC)

No objection at all! Please go ahead if you wish, or I see someone else already is. I will come back and do some of this fiddly sort of work another day. Thanks for pointing it out. BrainyBabe (talk) 10:28, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

Immediate thoughts[edit]

[Edit conflict]

  1. Titles a bit wordy. The WP:MoS entreats pithy section titles.
  2. Hackney central and Homerton had their share of religious dissenters - and the (then) larger houses around Homerton allowed a number of theological colleges to be formed.
  3. The Old Gravel Pit Meeting was in Homerton - that's the one associated with Priestley; and his house was in Lower Clapton.
  4. References need to be in a standard form; with titles, source and date accessed. "N16" is a local 'freesheet' and doesn't have the fact checking resources of a national newspaper.
  5. Collapse multiple refs using 'name='
  6. Avoid links in text - they should be transformed to footnotes.
  7. Image sizing use "upright" to adjust between portrait and landscape - otherwise portraits appear too large
  8. Dissenters were buried in Bunhill Fields because they were not permitted to be buried in the City cemeteries.

HTH. I'll try to take a 'harder' look towards the end of the week. Kbthompson (talk) 18:26, 3 June 2009 (UTC)

Immediate thoughts:
  1. MoS says titles should be short, normally no more than ten words. Most of the section titles are 5-6 and the longest is 9. Rewording would mean either just the date (Mid-nineteenth century) or just the descriptor (Towards the high water). Any ideas?
  2. I was a bit surprised Old Gravel Pit Meeting House (or Chapel) doesn't have its own entry yet. I don't have any particular access to material on Homerton or Hackney but would love to be able to site NGUC within the geographical network of other nonconformist (and, later, Unitarian) places of worship.
  3. Point taken that N16 isn't in a position to fact-check. I think freesheets are fair use for two things: interviews and columns. They both serve as written proof that someone (in this case Rev Courtney) said something. But I'll check that our article doesn't use N16 for more substantial claims.
  4. I am ignorant of collapsing multiple refs and uprighting images; any pointers (to explanatory pages) would be appreciated.
    I did a bit of collapsing refs to start, here's a demo. [1] --GRuban (talk) 20:06, 3 June 2009 (UTC)\
    Here's uprighting. [2] The churches clearly look better afterwards, relative to the other pictures; the protesters, I'm not so sure. Editor judgment call, if you want to tweak further, I won't object. --GRuban (talk) 20:10, 3 June 2009 (UTC)
  5. Dissenters were not allowed to be buried in any CofE cemeteries, I thought (aside: which suggests that banker-poet Rogers had changed his opinions). It is not a question of City or not City; most people were buried near where they lived and died, and most of the congregants of NGUC (up until the coming of the trains, and the coming of London itself) lived very near the church, I assume. I'll try to reword to make that clearer. Thanks! BrainyBabe (talk) 19:13, 3 June 2009 (UTC)

Hackney, Homerton, local stuff[edit]

Hi. If you look at the Homerton page, some of the dissenter stuff at Brit History is referenced. Wearing a completely different hat, I've been in touch with the current incumbent. I pointed Andy to this article - hopefully, that can be of use. Kbthompson (talk) 22:52, 3 June 2009 (UTC)

Thanks, I'll look at Homerton. I was under the impression that staff of organisations, founders of companies, etc were not supposed to edit their own articles, as a general rule, to avoid conflict of interest or any perceptions thereof, and I extended this to religious incumbents. Certainly, if there are any factual errors, or resources untapped, he would be welcome to point them out on this talkpage. BrainyBabe (talk) 09:07, 4 June 2009 (UTC)
Looked at Homerton. The history section is extensive but the only relevant reference was "A Fast Sermon - Richard Price to the Old Gravel Pit Meeting - February 21, 1781" with no info on where to find it. I substantially added to that section -- couldn't resist! BrainyBabe (talk) 09:44, 4 June 2009 (UTC)
I reinstated the link. Someone seems to have been removing ref links from articles - this one had expired, but took a minute to find. Dated links also allow use of the wayback machine - an Internet archive! I thought there was also a link to the Victoria County History on religion in Hackney. I'll try to find it. It would probably be appropriate here - [there you go http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=22714]. HTH Kbthompson (talk) 10:08, 4 June 2009 (UTC)
Good stuff! I've worked in Homerton and Homerton College, Cambridge to show the context the ministers were working in. Does that fit? BrainyBabe (talk) 10:13, 4 June 2009 (UTC)
Not a problem, Hackney Central and Homerton were amongst my first articles for wiki. I probably need to revisit them; I seem to recall an awful lot more references! I'd suggest making a major split in the structure - between architecture and history; demoting some current sections within history and combining some of the others. You might find this useful to discuss the architecture. There's a template {{IoE}} for references to it. The photo in the lede is about four years old - if I get a chance I'll get a new one, and one inside. HTH Kbthompson (talk) 10:23, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

<created a new heading and indents>Any photos greatly appreciated. The article you link to, "Hackney:Protestant Nonconformity", is fascinating, but the only reference to NGUC is this intriguing bit, in reference to either the Old or New Gravel Pit Chapel (the grammar and abbreviations render me uncertain):"Tercentenary of Wm. Bates's mtg. celebrated 1966 but ch. closed 1969 and all bldgs. demol. by G.L.C. 1970. Char. Com. Scheme established fund from sale proceeds and trust funds, used for maintenance of Unitarian chapel at Newington Green." with a footnote to the even more cryptic "V.C.H. Mdx. viii. 213". I think NGUC has been left out because it is perceived to be part of Islington, as of course Newington Green is. BrainyBabe (talk) 10:36, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

Oh -- and the history and building are already separated, in that the building has its own section and is pretty much confined to there (which may well be too short). I lifted some text from Images of England, with refs, but didn't know of the template, so thanks for that; another thing on the tidying-up list. BrainyBabe (talk) 10:42, 4 June 2009 (UTC)
Sorry, actually trying to do something in RL. Cryptic footnote is to. There says

UNITARIANS. Presb. mtg. ho. on N. side Newington Green built 1708 but originated in community of 17th-cent. dissenters. (fn. 9) Became Unitarian at end of 18th century. As area grew poorer, shifted emphasis from cultural interests to social and missionary work. Bldg. accommodated 200 in 1838. (fn. 10) Gallery built 1846. (fn. 11) Attendance 1851: 130 p.m. (fn. 12) Stuccoed chapel with round-headed windows; new roof and frontage, with large pediment and Tuscan pilasters, 1860. (fn. 13) In later 19th cent. chapel supported numerous societies and active in politics but in early 20th cent. weakened by controversy over min.'s social gospel. Attendance 1903: 166 a.m.; 80 p.m. Chapel damaged during Second World War and restored c. 1970.

HTH Kbthompson (talk) 10:56, 4 June 2009 (UTC)
Good catch on "Stoke Newington: Protestant nonconformity". At first reading it doesn't have anything devastatingly new, but it can be used as an additional reference. Interesting to note that it gives much more space to the functioning of all the churches as groups of people, rather than the ecclesiastical architecture. BrainyBabe (talk) 12:07, 4 June 2009 (UTC)
Strictly speaking there's no 'Borough of Hackney' the legal entity is the full form; and London Borough has a specific technical meaning. cheers! Kbthompson (talk) 14:30, 4 June 2009 (UTC)
[More] in the light of adding this, the article at Newington Green needs a trim; also some of the refs here could usefully be added there. HTH Kbthompson (talk) 14:32, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

Another useful discussion thread[edit]

I asked for help on User talk:iridescent on 3 June, and a useful thread developed. (I'm posting this here to remind myself where those ideas are.) BrainyBabe (talk) 08:57, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

Removal of category[edit]

User:Carlaude removed the category Category:Protestant congregations established in the 18th century. I am not sure why. Is it that the congregation slightly pre-dated the C18? But they were only formally recognised when the building arose in 1708. The church may have changed its name over the centuries, but it was formed as part of the extended Protestant Reformation. Or is it that Unitarianism is no longer considered Protestant? In the UK, it generally is still seen as such. As it says in the lede, NGUC belongs to the General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches. I would like to re-add the category, unless there is a cogent reason why not. BrainyBabe (talk) 10:56, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

Review[edit]

Per my talk page, I'm taking a look at the article. I'm hopelessly American, so if I suggest American grammar or punctuation, please forgive me.

Sources: I suggest a citations - bibliography style where books are listed at the bottom and citations from the books are in a citations section. See the References and Bibliography sections in Rosewood massacre to get a better idea of what I'm referring to. Remember that there is no one right way to cite in an article, but citations within an article should be consistent.

Lead: I suggest placing the political information about the church below a description of what it actually is. Such as:

Newington Green Unitarian Church (NGUC) in north London is London's oldest Nonconformist place of worship still in use, and is one of England's oldest Unitarian churches. It was founded in 1708 by English Dissenters, a community of which had been gathering around Newington Green for at least half a century before that date. The church belongs to the umbrella organisation known as the General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches, and has had an upturn in its fortunes since the turn of the millennium. It has had strong ties to political radicalism for over 300 years.
The NGUC's most famous minister was Dr. Richard Price, a political radical who is remembered for his role in the Revolution Controversy, a British debate about the French Revolution, but who also did pioneering work in finance and statistics. The most famous member of its congregation was Mary Wollstonecraft, who drew inspiration from Price's sermons in her work, both in A Vindication of the Rights of Men, which argued for the new French republic and in A Vindication of the Rights of Woman which raised the issue of the rights of women.
The building, which faces the north side of the green, was extended in 1860, and was listed in 1953. It lies within the Borough of Hackney, although the rest of the green is part of Islington.

Body:

  • I fixed a couple of piped links in the lead in my example above. It is best to say exactly what you mean to say by not piping links unless it makes the sentence awkward. For instance, you have a sentence in the Background section that reads The first restricted public office to Anglicans. That link is piped to Corporation Act 1661. I would restructure the sentence to refer to the link by name: The first, the Corporation Act of 1661, restricted public office to Anglicans.
  • I'm looking at the section The building and its religious neighbours. You give two quotes that describe the building. This looks odd to me. Quotes are generally used to place someone's opinion in the article, an expert who has some kind of authority. When you give quotes, it's usually best to identify who is giving the quote, as in: Historian Important Guy wrote, "This is the awesomest church of all time".(ref) I see these descriptive quotes all through the article when paraphrased prose would do fine. If the authors you used gave their opinions, that's when quotes should be used.
  • Why is Jacob Koussevitzsky mentioned?
  • If you have asides that are not particularly relevant to the material yet interesting that may still shed light on the topic, I suggest a Notes section (Rosewood massacre also has one). Shift any parenthetical statements to Notes and since I'm a parenthesis minimalist, I suggest getting rid of parentheses unless the sentence is too awkward without them.
  • Remove any "It is worth mentioning..." because clearly nothing would be on the article if it wasn't worth mentioning.
  • Here's something I only learned on Wikipedia: when you span between numbers, dates, any numbers at all, use an endash instead of a hyphen. You can get it with code – or there's a blue link below your editing box: the first hyphen-looking character on the same line as the quotes, math symbols and arrows.
  • I'd like to see a paragraph on the importance of Unitarianism when Anglicanism was popular. Right there up at the top.
  • I don't get the reference to fairy godmother.
  • Watch some of the more editorial wording: It would have been hard for anyone to step into the shoes of Dr Price. It kind of sounds like a retirement speech.
  • I don't know if this is possible, but it would seem more relevant to me to discuss how all these famous people who attended the church were influenced somehow by its doctrine. This is done well with Mary Wollstonecraft, but the Earliest years section seems like a who's who of who sat in the pews. Did Joseph Tower get his motivation to reform the justice system through the church? It's not blatantly obvious why this information is in the article.
  • Lacking formal education, he read all he could and educated himself, eventually writing learned works such as Criminal Libel and the Duty of Juries, and being awarded a Doctor of Law degree by Edinburgh University. awkward - verb agreement issues?
  • Change the citation for this sentence: Several of the church's ministers were at the same time, or had been, the librarians at the theological collection known as Dr Williams's Library, an establishment still very much alive to an inline citation.
  • The Later twentieth century: what now? section is uncited and two sentences long. I suggest removing it or merging it to another paragraph.
  • Overall, I find the article lacks a bit of cohesion. There are eras that describe certain periods of the church, and the theme of the article seems to be that it fostered some of England's best rebels and revolutionaries. It might make it more coherent and easier to follow if you continually refer to social movements in London's or England's history, switching the perspective. It seems now that these revolutionaries attended or worked in the church and were sometimes involved in protests and movements outside the church, so the article reads as an extended timeline. I suggest treating the article as if the church was an island that watched these movements in London or England (depending on the social issue), and its members and pastors became involved in these problems and issues as time passed. For example, the Late nineteenth century section mentions temperance and women's suffrage. If you began this section with a couple sentences that introduced the social movements being popular in London or England, and then related how the church was involved in these movements, it makes it more interesting and strengthens the profile of the congregation as one that has remained politically active throughout its history. If you restructure the article to follow this approach, it adds consistency and cohesion. I hope this part is clear, because I think it's the most important of my review.
  • If this article's trajectory is GA or FA, you'll be constantly reworking the prose. Patience and fortitude. Let me know if you have questions. --Moni3 (talk) 13:37, 4 June 2009 (UTC)
"If you began this section with a couple sentences that introduced the social movements being popular in London or England, and then related how the church was involved in these movements, it makes it more interesting and strengthens the profile of the congregation as one that has remained politically active throughout its history. If you restructure the article to follow this approach, it adds consistency and cohesion. I hope this part is clear, because I think it's the most important of my review." Completely agree with that Moni, the article just doesn't feel tight enough right now. --Malleus Fatuorum 14:07, 4 June 2009 (UTC)
Thank you for these extensive and reasoned comments. To be honest, I am feeling a bit overwhelmed at the moment with all the attention and need some (literal) fresh air! I think the best thing for me to do is to move the specific things that need doing to the To Do box, and respond to other points later. BrainyBabe (talk) 16:00, 4 June 2009 (UTC)
I see the to do list at the top of the page. Once I spent several hours fixing dashes in an article. I wish to get that time back... Ask User:Brighterorange to run his dashbot over the article. That will be an immense help. All hyphens and dashes after that you can put in by hand - much easier. --Moni3 (talk) 18:29, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

A sidenote re architecture vs activities[edit]

I've just remembered a place of worship not all that far from NGUC, also much better known for its congregation and preachers than its building (although the article pictures are attractive enough): North London Central Mosque, better known as Finsbury Park Mosque. Perhaps scholars in years hence will compare the sermons about revolution and social reform. Taking the long view.... BrainyBabe (talk) 15:34, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

As the Chinese ambassador to Paris is alleged to have said when asked what his country's opinion was of the French Revolution; "Too soon to say." --Malleus Fatuorum 15:48, 4 June 2009 (UTC)
Yes, I thought of that line myself while looking at that article! Great minds.... (which I Freudianly slip-typed "great lines") BrainyBabe (talk) 16:02, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

tweak lede[edit]

Per the suggestions in the review section above, I can see the point of placing different info in the first sentence. However, there are some awkwardnesses of wording that I would like to smooth out here first. I am aiming to remove the repetition of phrases within the same or adjacent sentences (e.g. "NGUC in North London is London's oldest", political radicalism/political radical, Rights of Woman/rights of women). The current version of the lede reflects a recent change by another editor, correctly pointing out the difference between Islington as a restricted area and the wider borough thereof, but unfortunately it results in a repetitive and heavy sentence. So, comments solicited on the following:

Newington Green Unitarian Church (NGUC) is London's oldest Nonconformist place of worship still in use, and was one of England's first Unitarian churches. It was founded in 1708 by English Dissenters, a community of which had been gathering around Newington Green for at least half a century before that date. The church belongs to the umbrella organisation known as the General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches, and has had an upturn in its fortunes since the turn of the millennium. It has had strong ties to political radicalism for over 300 years.
The NGUC's most famous minister was Dr. Richard Price, who is remembered for his role in the British debate about the French Revolution, and who influenced several of the Founding Fathers of the United States, but who also did pioneering work in finance and statistics. The most famous member of its congregation was Mary Wollstonecraft, who drew inspiration from Price's sermons for her writing, both in A Vindication of the Rights of Men, which argued for the new French republic, and in A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, one of the first works of feminist philosophy.
The building, which faces the north side of the green, was extended in 1860, and was listed in 1953. It lies in North London, just within the Borough of Hackney, although the rest of the green is part of Islington.

The piped link defines what the Revolution Controversy was, and it avoids repeating the word "revolution". In the final sentence, which sites NGUC within North London, both links go to the boroughs, but without repeating the phrase "London Borough of". BrainyBabe (talk) 07:45, 7 June 2009 (UTC)

(Making the same point again) London Borough of Hackney is its official title - London Borough has a specific technical meaning compared to Borough. Islington is not adjacent to this site, it is a couple of miles away. It is the eponymous London Borough of Islington that neighbours it on the Green. HTH Kbthompson (talk) 11:09, 7 June 2009 (UTC)
I understand the point and appreciate the attention to detail! The links in my suggested lede go to the correct articles, I believe. My wish is to make the sentence read well, without sacrificing the essential meaning, hence the piped links and thus the abbreviated wording visible to the reader. My reasons are that A) this is the lede, so should serve as an overview, with more detail and expanded links in the body if that is necessary; and B) anyone with the level of knowledge to appreciate the difference between "borough" and "London borough" will be able to figure out that, as we are dealing with a place in London, it must be the latter that is being referred to. If they click through, they get the full information; if they don't, they get the general picture. What other wording could maintain accuracy without repetition? BrainyBabe (talk) 17:02, 7 June 2009 (UTC) PS Here's an idea: "It lies in North London, just within Hackney, although the rest of the green is part of the London Borough of Islington." Better? BrainyBabe (talk) 17:05, 7 June 2009 (UTC)
Sorry, if this comes across as just picky. In the later text, it should be expanded that the chapel lay in the 'parish of Stoke Newington' - later the 'Metropolitan Borough of Stoke Newington'. It has no association with the 'parish of Hackney'; or the 'Metropolitan Borough of Hackney'; but today lies in the 'London Borough of Hackney' - Hackney itself (named Hackney Central - to distinguish from the Borough) is again over a mile away. While I agree that some of this can be achieved through pipping to the correct article, it's perhaps best not to perpetuate confusion in the casual reader ... that's why I end up being very specific. The terms mean very different things at different periods in history. HTH Kbthompson (talk) 09:57, 18 June 2009 (UTC)

A few (belated) thoughts[edit]

A few thoughts – apologies for the delay in getting back on this one:

  • "In the mid-twentieth century, the building was damaged by enemy action." I assume this means it was bombed by the Germans in WW2 – if so, you ought to say so. (If you don't know if it was a German or Italian bomber, "bombed during the Second World War" should be fine.) "Damaged by enemy action in the mid-twentieth century" is quite vague, and could cover anything from an IRA bombing in the 1970s, to a fundamentalist group opposed to the church's stance trying to set it on fire.
  • What impact did the founding of the church have on the surrounding area? Presumably, large numbers of people moving to – or even just visiting on Sunday – a previously rural area would have had a significant impact on the local economy, in terms of everything from a need for improved roads to get worshippers from London to the church, to the increase in the crime rate as wealthy parishioners were robbed,1 to shops catering to the congregation. Obviously it can't be written if the sources don't exist, but linking the church to the broader growth of the area would probably be useful in putting it into context.
    1The London end of Ermine Street (now the A10) was a notorious crime spot in the 18th century, and site of much of Dick Turpin's activity; I can't imagine Green Lanes was much better.
  • As I'm fond of saying, in many ways the history of England is the history of transportation. At the moment, the wording of the sections on the early church imply that it was built in the countryside – which is true – but give the impression that it was isolated from London, which isn't the case. The location on Green Lanes – in this period one of England's busiest roads – should be hammered home; the significance of the choice of site wasn't that it was far from an urban area (true), but that it was far from an urban area but still accessible.
  • As Moni says also, I don't really understand the "fairy godmother" bit. If it means "unnamed benefactor", better to say so. The current wording implies an actual fairy, which (I presume) wasn't the case.
  • Does anything exist on the relations between this church and the broader community in the early years? Presumably the Anglican (and Catholic) communities in Newington Green weren't delighted to have what they considered a nest of unbelievers appear in their midst – were there recorded attacks (physical or verbal) on the early church?
  • "The fresh bucolic village had been swallowed up by London's relentless growth, and had become a thriving and expanding suburb" is true, but rather dry. Returning to one of my pet theories, what separates "adequate articles" from "good articles" (in my terms, not Wikipedia's definition of Good Article) is that the latter is interesting; this is a perfect spot to include a brief bit of background on the massive social and technological changes affecting the area in the 19th century. To take an example from Chelsea Bridge (because it's the one I've most recently written so is freshest in my mind), compare these two wordings:
    1. The building of the bridge was authorised in 1851. However, construction was delayed until 1856 as the site of the northern approach road was occupied by the Chelsea Waterworks Company, which in 1852 had been ordered by Parliament to relocate but did not do so until 1856.
    2. The Chelsea Waterworks Company occupied a site on the north bank of the Thames opposite the Red House Inn. Founded in 1723, the company pumped water from the Thames to reservoirs around Westminster through a network of hollow elm trunks. As London spread westwards, the former farmland to the west became increasingly populated (between the 1801 and 1881 censuses, the population of Battersea rose from 3,000 to 107,000) and the Thames became seriously polluted with sewage and animal carcasses. In 1852 Parliament banned water from being taken from the Thames downstream of Teddington, forcing the Chelsea Waterworks Company to move upstream to Seething Wells. Although work on the building of the bridge had begun in 1851 delays in the closure of the Chelsea Waterworks, which only completed its relocation to Seething Wells in 1856, caused lengthy delays to the project, and the Edinburgh-made ironwork was only transported to the site in 1856.
They both make exactly the same point – "the bridge was authorised, but building was delayed because the waterworks took a long time to move" – but the latter puts the issue into a broader context as to just why these things were happening when and where they did; it also makes it hopefully more likely that a casual reader will find something interesting in what is, after all, a rather dull discussion of urban planning in the 19th century. The urban growth of London is one of the most significant – and well documented – phenomena of the 19th century, and covering it puts the church's rise-fall-rise into a broader context. (For a good example – if I do say so myself – of this "broader context" style at work, have a look at the current article on Noel Park, a short way up Green Lanes from the church, which very intentionally goes off on all kinds of side-tracks from plumbing design to the acts at the nearby theatre.)
  • "Society as a whole found less solace in religion, perhaps particularly liberal religion, with its message of human dignity ringing hollow beside the great guns" is such a sweeping statement that it really needs expansion and sourcing. You don't need a great gobbet of explanation, but a footnote on comparative church attendances would be useful. I'm also not sure how much you can pin on the Great War, given the sweeping social changes brought about by industrialisation – Marxism, increased contact with foreign religions, the massive growth in the literacy rate and all that that implies, immigration to London from countries with less of a religious tradition, the mobility brought by the railways breaking traditional ties to parishes…
  • I know there are links to relevant pages, but I think a very brief explanation of place names would be useful. Newington, London is nowhere near Newington Green. The village of Newington, from which Newington Green takes its name, was renamed Highbury after the manor house built there (on the 'high barrow' at the eastern end of what's now Finsbury Park). Thanks to the football stadium of the same name, the area known as "Highbury" has now shifted west, leaving the original Newington now known as Manor House, despite the fact that the manor house no longer exists…
    This is confusing to me, and I know the history of the area. Imagine someone with no knowledge of London trying to figure out exactly where the church is!

Hope that helps… It's not as daunting as it looks, and certainly not a list of criticisms – just potential points for improvement and clarification. On the whole, I think this is certainly on the right track. – iridescent 17:20, 12 June 2009 (UTC)

Thank you for your detailed and specific points. I am taking a bit of a break at the moment, but the article isn't going away, and when I have digested most of the above, I will do what I can to integrate your valuable and valued suggestions. I may get back to you then. Appreciated! BrainyBabe (talk) 20:23, 14 June 2009 (UTC)

source[edit]

Interview with Reverend W. Wooding, minister of Newington Green Unitarian Church, 173 Amhurst Road. Contains leaflet concerning the history of Stoke Newington Green Church nd -- part of the Charles Booth poverty survey. Here. BrainyBabe (talk) 09:36, 22 January 2011 (UTC)

1860 architecture[edit]

The template was removed. As the photo shows (on the plaque above the door), the church was extended in 1860. It says so in the lede. The extra room allowed the school to start, which is mentioned in the text. Also, in the section on "The building and its religious neighbours", it states:

This building was substantially extended and improved in the mid-nineteenth century. An internal gallery was built to increase the seating available, and a few years later the roof and apse were renewed, and a "stuccoed frontage" was built, "mirroring the original façade with a three-bay front with two round-headed windows, but with added Tuscan pilasters and a large pediment".

This is sourced to Allardyce's recent book on The Village that Changed the World. I will reinstate the template in a day or two, unless there is an objection. In addition, I'll add here as another source:

UNITARIANS. Presb. mtg. ho. on N. side Newington Green built 1708 but originated in community of 17th-cent. dissenters. (fn. 9) Became Unitarian at end of 18th century. As area grew poorer, shifted emphasis from cultural interests to social and missionary work. Bldg. accommodated 200 in 1838. (fn. 10) Gallery built 1846. (fn. 11) Attendance 1851: 130 p.m. (fn. 12) Stuccoed chapel with round-headed windows; new roof and frontage, with large pediment and Tuscan pilasters, 1860. (fn. 13) In later 19th cent. chapel supported numerous societies and active in politics but in early 20th cent. weakened by controversy over min.'s social gospel. Attendance 1903: 166 a.m.; 80 p.m. Chapel damaged during Second World War and restored c. 1970.

From A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 8: Islington and Stoke Newington parishes by T F T Baker, C R Elrington (Editors), A P Baggs, Diane K Bolton, Patricia E C Croot. 1985. Online at British History Online. BrainyBabe (talk) 12:09, 23 May 2011 (UTC)

Once again, the category templates about architecture have been changed without explanation. I can see why Category:19th-century church buildings might be considered useful, but Category:Religious buildings completed in 1857 is wrong, and I fail to understand why Category:1860 architecture and Category:Buildings and structures completed in 1708 were removed. As it says on the big plaque above the front door (visible on the photo): "ERECTED A.D. 1708. ENLARGED A.D. 1860." Again, in a day or two I will re-add the deleted categories, unless a good reason is given not to.BrainyBabe (talk) 07:03, 26 July 2011 (UTC)
The way the category system works, the article text needs to establish that the article belongs there. Simply mentioning a date is not sufficient. Additions or enlarging of a building may or may not be significant enough to be categorized. In order to address some of this and get away from the problems of multiple buildings and structure changes, the established by year categories were set up to cover the first year the building was completed to the point it was useable. However, at this CfD that issue was discussed and it was decided 'completed in' was correct and that if multiple building were used or if various stages of building happened, then multiple completion categories could be used. The architecture by year categories are inherently ambiguous as this covers many different things. By using the completed date, it is clear why a building is in one category year as opposed to another. Also the completed by year categories are included in the civil engineering tree which is the disciplines that are used for building. Since I do an large number of edits I don't remember this one, the only explanation I can offer for Category:Religious buildings completed in 1857 is, it was a typo that should have been Category:Religious buildings completed in 1860. If the completed year(s) had been included in the infobox, then I would have looked there and if verified in the article text, I would have used those. Vegaswikian (talk) 19:45, 26 July 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for this response. I made some changes to the categories a few minutes ago without having seen this; my oversight. However, I will stand by the usefulness of including the article in categories that point to both significant architectural dates, 1708 and 1860. (What those exact categories are, I am open to persuasion.) First of all, the church is known locally for the Viagra nudge-nudge-wink-wink, "the erected-enlarged church", as its large external placard proclaims to the neighbourhood. Very amusing. More importantly, the two dates mark two crucial points in the congregation's history, firstly, when they felt strong enough to construct a building, and secondly, when they decided the need for education was so significant that they wanted to build the adjoining schoolhouse. Both of these dates are very much embedded in the development of the area, and both are, I think, adequately explained in the article. Can we discuss any other category changes here? BrainyBabe (talk) 16:17, 5 August 2011 (UTC)