Feast of Eglantyne Jebb and Dorothy Buxton (December 17)   Leave a comment

420px-save_the_children_logo-svg

Above:  Logo of Save the Children

Use of Logo Allowed According to Fair Use

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EGLANTYNE JEBB (AUGUST 25, 1876-DECEMBER 17, 1928)

Cofounder of Save the Children

sister of

DOROTHY FRANCES JEBB BUXTON (MARCH 3, 1881-APRIL 8, 1963)

Cofounder of Save the Children

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Common Worship:  Services and Prayers for the Church of England (2000) lists December 17 as the day to commemorate the life of Eglantyne Jebb, “Social Reformer, Founder of ‘Save the Children’, 1928.”

However, Save the Children, had two founders.

Eglantyne Jebb and Dorothy Frances Jebb, born on the family estate at Ellesmere, Shropshire, England, came from a wealthy family devoted to public service and possessed of a strong social conscience.  Their mother, Eglantyne Louisa Jebb (1845-1925), had founded the Home Arts and Industries Association, to reduce rural poverty, in 1884.  Their father was Arthur Trevor Jebb (1839-1894), a barrister.

Eglantyne Jebb studied history at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford.  She taught at St. Peter’s Junior School, Marlborough, for just one year.  She was not on this planet to be a teacher, she concluded, but she had become more aware of childhood poverty.  Her next task was to care for her mother at Cambridge.  At Cambridge Eglantyne became involved with the Charity Organisation Society, committed to administering social services while restoring as much self-sufficiency as possible.  She also researched and wrote Cambridge:  A Study in Social Questions (1906).

Dorothy Frances Jebb married Charles Roden Buxton (1875-1942), later a Member of Parliament, in 1904.  The Buxtons were active in the Liberal Party until 1917, when they switched to the Labour Party.  The couple also converted to the Society of Friends.

The sisters founded the Fight the Famine Council in 1918.  The purpose of this organization was to feed civilians in Germany in Austria-Hungary.  The following year the sisters expanded their work and founded Save the Children, which, in the early 1920s, conducted humanitarian work in Greece and Russia.  Dorothy had two children, but Eglantyne remained single and childless voluntarily.  In fact, she referred to children as “the little wretches,” but she fed many of them.  She also drafted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child (1924).

Eglantyne Jebb died of goiter at Geneva, Switzerland, on December 17, 1928.  She was 52 years old.

Dorothy continued her humanitarian work.  In 1935 she traveled to Germany to investigate Nazi persecution of Christians.  Then she reported her evidence of that persecution to George Kennedy Allen Bell (1883-1958), the Bishop of Chichester.  Although she was a practicing Quaker, she understood that World War II was necessary.  After the war she campaigned on the behalf of refugees and German prisoners of war.

Dorothy Buxton died at Peaslake, near Guildford, England, on April 8, 1963.  She was 82 years old.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

NOVEMBER 8, 2016 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF JOHN CASPAR MATTES, U.S. LUTHERAN MINISTER AND LITURGIST

THE FEAST OF JOHANN VON STAUPITZ, MARTIN LUTHER’S SPIRITUAL MENTOR

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O God, your Son came among us to serve and not to be served, and to give his life for the life of the world.

Lead us by his love to serve all those to whom the world offers no comfort and little help.

Through us give hope to the hopeless,

love to the unloved,

peace to the troubled,

and rest to the weary,

through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns

with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Hosea 2:18-23

Psalm 94:1-15

Romans 12:9-21

Luke 6:20-36

Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), page 60

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