Capturing the history of Feed the Minds

Oct 3, 2017

A former Director of Feed the Minds, Alec Gilmore, has written a book wishing to capture the history of the charity, and the churches’ contribution over 300 years to literacy, literature and libraries.

Alec Gilmore led Feed the Minds’ development in the 1980s, alongside his role as General Secretary of the United Society for Christian Literature (USCL), with experience working with many other ecumenical organisations, after which he continued his working life as an author, lecturer in theology and Baptist minister over 20 years including researching and writing The Story of Feed the Minds.

Feed the Minds is an ecumenical international development charity, supporting people to transform their lives through education in some of the world’s most marginalised communities. Our projects enable people to acquire practical and life-changing skills and independence. For example, in Uganda, we are working with a local partner to ensure disadvantaged young people who missed out on school become literate and learn trades at the same time, to boost their future prospects.


Alec Gilmore says:

“FEED THE MINDS is one of few Christian organisations committed to literacy, literature and libraries for over fifty years. Originally the child of the major British Missionary Societies in the early days of post-war ecumenism when the churches were committed to working more closely together, its roots go far back into history and it went through several mutations before establishing itself as an independent Christian charity having lost nothing of its original ideals.

“Its story has never been fully told and having given ten years to managing it at a formative point in its history (1982-92) I thought it was time to set down the record, with its antecedents over 300 years ago, beginning with SPCK (Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge) in 1692, followed by RTS (The Religious Tract Society, subsequently the United Society for Christian Literature) in 1794. Together they bear witness to a Church committed to the poor, to education, to the world way beyond Britannia’s shores, and to the wholeness of a gospel which saw faith more in terms of life than of religion and included social and cultural affairs, traditions and customs as belonging to the faith every bit as much as the finer points of doctrine and liturgy.

“To appreciate the need today and the contribution now being made by Feed the Minds, it is important to begin at the beginning, which is why I wrote this book. I knew it was unlikely ever to see print but I wanted to put my research to some positive use and saw no reason why it should not become an E-book.”

Josephine Carlsson, current Chief Executive of Feed the Minds, says:

“Alec has always been full of encouragement, support and intellectual stimulation – generating new ideas and positive energy. Over many conversations the idea of writing the Story of Feed the Minds came up. The fact that Alec took the time to independently research and write this book is a testament to his determination and to his dedication to Feed the Minds’ mission. It helps to capture the history and roots of Feed the Minds’ story from the perspective of an insider.”

You can download the E-Book here: Story of Feed the Minds