1. What is The Christian Israelite Church and where did it start? See
The Christian Israelite Church developed from the Joanna Southcott
tradition, although it was established as an independent
Church. Members share many
common Christian beliefs, but also hold a hope that if they are alive at
the return of Jesus Christ to this Earth, that they will
not die physically, but receive
everlasting life without death.
2. Who started The Church? See John Wroe
The founder was John Wroe, who founded The Church in 1822 at the
age of 40 years. He
traveled around United Kingdom and all the world for a period of 40 years,
passing away in Melbourne Australia in 1863.
3. How did the Message of the Church spread? See Preachers
The message of the Church was spread by preachers who were classified
either as local preachers (who preached within a region - who worked
in their spare time), or traveling preachers (who were given a small
monetary allowance, supplemented
by books which they were entitled to sell, for their support).
4. Where has the Church spread? See Countries
Initially John Wroe traveled within the United Kingdom, but then
undertook a journey to Gibraltar returning through Spain, Italy and
he made numerous journeys to Australia and North America. When traveling
around The Cape of Good Hope he called into South Africa. Preachers
were initially sent from England to these places, and later Preachers
countries spread out further, including some instances when they
also traveled to further countries.
5. What impact has the Church had on social history?
In the area where the Church started, in Lancashire and Yorkshire,
the Church had quite an impact at the time, with many well known locals becoming members. In
more recent times, particularly since the publication of the book "Millenarianism" by
JFC Harrison in 1972, social historians are unveiling more and more about the
impact of The Church within society over that period of history. It is
well recognised that in Australia The Church had quite an impact, with many of
the early Traveling Preachers having been seen by those
in outlying areas as their link to established religion.
6. What primary sources of information does the Church have?
The Volumes containing The Life and Journal of John Wroe contain
entries made by the Writers who accompanied him on his journeys. On many occasions
these records were also witnessed by others. These records were read by
the members in ensuing years, and it would be expected that any gross errors
would have been reported by those who had been present at each event, and appropriate
changes made. The Church has records of the signatures of those
who joined the Church as members, records of Namings (more commonly
Christenings - but without infant baptism) records of circumcisions
and records of Marriages
within the Church, which commonly followed a Civil Marriage ceremony
7. What other sources of information are there?
See Related Information.
There has been a lot of articles written about the Church over
the years. Unfortunately
whilst there have bee some complimentary reports, most of those which have survived
have been based on folk-lore and myths of the time. There are
some reliable records, but many of the resource books used by later
have been based
on reports which themselves have been labelled as speculative or
8. Does The Church still exist today? See
Yes - the Christian Israelite Church has been in continuous operation
since 1822. The
Sydney Church (Australia) was built in 1853, and has been in
continuous use ever since. Services from Sydney Church
are put live onto the Internet every second Sunday morning
Eastern Australian time. The current Melbourne Church
was built in 1861. The largest congregation is in Singleton,
NSW Australia where there is a continuing Church Brass Band
and Choir which presents frequent
musical programmes to the broader community. There are
still individual members scattered in England, the USA and